It may sound contrary to received marketing wisdom, but being “consistently inconsistent” is the modus operandi of Swedish plant-based milk brand Oatly.
Known for its witty outdoor campaigns and off-kilter point of view, the brand is hoping to convert a new demographic of consumers to join the “post-milk generation”. The target is middle-aged men who, according research, are the least likely segment of society to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.
A new campaign, the company’s first foray into TV in the UK, has been developed to help teenagers talk to their parents about eating and drinking more sustainably. This mission to help consumers make more sustainable choices has helped the in-house creative team – known as the Oatly Department of Mind Control – stay sane and keep the ideas flowing during the pandemic.
“If we had worked for a soft drink company, maybe we would get into some existential crisis about ‘Why are we pushing fizzy sugar water to kids?’,” says creative and strategic director, Michael Lee.
“The pandemic and a lot of the divisiveness in our society has, if anything, accelerated the need in a lot of people to live a more fair, sustainable life and what we’re advocating falls naturally into that.”
The idea behind the ‘Help Dad’ campaign is to flip the parental relationship on its head, contrasting a cohort of reluctant alt-milk drinkers with a younger generation pushing for change.