Oatly’s chats have always been endearing. The brand tells it like it is.
That doesn’t always go perfectly to plan. The commercial it ran in this year’s Super Bowl was actually made in 2014. It was banned in Sweden for running down cow’s milk, after the Swedish dairy lobby sued Oatly.
Oatly is both gutsy and persistent. The brand’s most recent chats tell it like it is but are probably not endearing to the European Parliament. The campaign is called Are You Stupid and while it features members of the public as they attempt to distinguish between dairy milk and oat milk, the message is obvious.
The campaign is challenging the Parliament’s response to amendment 171, which Oatly says could force packaging changes (to differentiate its packaging from milk cartons) and ban phrases including “dairy free” or “creamy” from plant-based drinks for being “misleading”. It asks people to sign its petition. The brand also has the milk lobby in its sights as the campaign videos by its in-house creative team, the Oatly Department of Mind Control make clear.
The campaign, which is running digitally, is accompanied by physical sampling of Oatly in post-AM 171 packaging and online Are you stupid? tests, which challenge consumers to test their ability to distinguish between dairy and plant-based products.
“It’s one thing for us at Oatly to know the impact AM 171 can potentially have on people trying to choose plant-based foods, but we wanted to speak directly to the people who will be affected by this – ordinary people – to understand whether AM 171 is actually in their best interest,” stated Tobias Nordström, head of planning at Oatly.
“It was clear consumers already understand the difference between plant-based and dairy products, and that the restrictions AM 171 threatens to impose will actually make consumer choice more complicated. It’s quite absurd to us, as the Farm to Fork strategy’s mission of increasing plant-based consumption will be heavily compromised should this amendment be passed.”
Oatly tells it like it is even more clearly on its campaign website.