The Thing about Oatly.
We’ve been working on a new brand in the food space. From day one we referenced two brands. One was Brew Dog – which we now have as a new client – yay – and the other was Oatly.
Living in New York in 2018 I saw the the rise of Oatly play out in all its manifestations. It was such a Brooklyn thing — cool packaging, good for the planet, I saw it before you did etc. One day it was nowhere, then it was in all the cool coffee shops. Then it ran out and people went a little crazy as Dave Trott explains in a recent Campaign article.
The main thrust of the article is that the secret of Oatly’s success is that they killed the marketing dept. I’m not sure that’s entirely true. There are plenty of successful product launches that have come from marketing depts. And I bet there is some kind of marketing dept. You can bet your bottom dollar the creatives are not buying and tracking billboards and Instagram ads. The latest TV ads are based on research that Dads were the ones least likely to move on from cows milk. Were the creatives doing research?
But the point is let us creatives get on with our shit. And be brave. That, of course, I am well behind.
What I find most interesting about Oatly is that when you look at any individual execution it will mostly be a solid 7/10. Not going to trouble D&AD or Cannes but certainly better than the average shite we endure.
The thing that works is the consistency. The print work has a look and tone that hasn’t changed since launch. The TV work is live action so doesn’t look anything like the print but the tone is the same. The TV spot about the dad being an alcoholic is really good — actually that could win some awards I imagine.
But yeah, there is a commitment to weirdness and a style that you rarely see. I hope they stick to it.