Home SocialMinds Insights Building a Brand Worth Talking About with Oatly
  • Melissa Harvey
  • 45 min

Building a Brand Worth Talking About with Oatly

The sea of same: we all know it. We all fear it. But brands aren’t doing enough to avoid falling into it.  

Few brands understand this as well as Oatly. Its distinctive tone of voice, iconic typeface, provocative media placements and ad campaigns rarely fail to create a fame-driving moment, even if that means causing controversy.  

Like its Big Dairy social campaign, which challenged dairy executives to participate in a Reddit AMA as part of a clever critique on the dairy industry’s carbon footprint. The campaign smashed all benchmarks, including a 150% higher Reddit upvote rate. Plus, it resulted in UK consumers voting the brand the most sustainable food and drink retailer in an independent study by market research agency Impact. Talk about measurable outcomes.  

As its global media director Sarah Sutton tells us, the success of campaigns like Big Dairy hinges on the fact that Oatly has no interest in being liked by everyone. Instead, it’s honing in on the people that resonate most with the brand and its values, and creating content specifically for them. “Don’t try and be all things to all people,” Sarah advises. “That gets pedestrian and vanilla very quickly.”  

“Not everyone gets us. Not everyone likes us. And we’re OK with that.” 

Aside from the large-scale activations that really pack a punch, Oatly is doubling down on its creator parnerships too. The mission is to make its approach more sophisticated, whilst ensuring they don’t lose the fearlessness, experimentation, and most importantly, distinctiveness, at the heart of the brand.  

Take the Mob Milk Wives campaign, a partnership with TikTok creator Andrea Valls that did the rounds on social not too long ago as a shining example of how to be reactive with your creator partnerships. Sarah reveals the virality of the campaign was partly down to its relaxed approach when it comes to creator briefs. Creators don’t have to use the Oatly’s products in a specified way; they don’t even have to use the product at all. “We only have three questions for our creators: Do you want the product, how much do you need, and what’s your turnaround time and budget?” says Sarah. 

So how can you take a leaf out of Oatly’s book, and build a brand that’s truly worth talking about? 
Watch Sarah’s full keynote from our industry-leading SocialMinds LIVE event Building Connections in the Age of the Disconnect to find out.  

Expect to learn: 

  • Why you’re probably letting a restrictive strategy get in the way of good creative – and how to fix it  
  • How being lenient with your creator briefs results in more interesting work  
  • Why your comms and copy should stop trying to appeal to everyone  

Download our key takeaways report from SocialMinds LIVE now.

Building a Brand Worth Talking About with Oatly
Building a Brand Worth Talking About with Oatly April 2024 (42 min)