Challenger food brand Oatly is taking on the European Parliament with a campaign mocking potential restrictions on the brand’s packaging.
The short films succeed in showing what, on the surface, seems to be an absurd change in law: the proposed amendment 171, which could see words and phrases like “contains no dairy” or “creamy texture” potentially banned for being “misleading”.
As a brand that regularly takes on the milk lobby, Oatly’s new digital ‘Are you stupid?’ campaign intends to head off the potential regulatory restrictions, which could affect the packaging of Oatly and other plant-based products.
In addition, the changes could restrict brands from communicating climate impact comparisons (or any comparisons) between plant-based and dairy products, Oatly claims.
It’s absurd. And in true Oatly fashion, the tongue-in-cheek ad mocks it and takes it on sarcastically.
Created by Oatly’s in-house creative team, the Oatly Department of Mind Control, Are you stupid shows people attempting to distinguish between dairy-based products, based solely on packaging.
“It turns out, people are not stupid,” the ad says, as consumers correctly guess which products contain dairy.
The ad ends by directing viewers to a petition (which has received nearly 270,000 signatures thus far) to challenge the European Parliament’s response to amendment 171. The parliament voted ‘yes’ on amendment 171 in October, however, trialogue negotiations remain before the changes are passed.
In addition, a follow-up commercial shows consumers attempting to serve Oatly from alternative packaging (paint tins, bleach bottles and spray bottles).
As Oatly explains, “just because it looks like milk packaging” does not mean that Oatly is trying to mislead people who drink cow’s milk.
The campaign is accompanied by online Are you stupid tests, which, in the smartass tone-of-voice Oatly is known for, challenge consumers to see if they can tell the difference between bananas and apples, shoes and hats, and others, to eventually differentiate between dairy and plant-based products.
The final question asks, “which one is milk?” alongside two products marked as ‘milk’ and as ‘oat drink’.
This, of course, plays into Oatly’s point-of-difference as an ‘oat drink’, not an ‘oat milk’, brand.
The campaign is the brain-child of in-house creative director Michael Lee, and comes a month after Oatly launched its campaign to “help dads quit dairy”.
Further information regarding the proposed law changes and Oatly’s campaign against them can be found here.
Featured image source: YouTube/Oatly
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