How do you encourage middle-aged dads, a demographic oat milk brand Oatly says is most reluctant to ditch dairy, to ditch dairy?
You shame them into it with a series of comedy ads and create a website called helpdad.com to arm their kids with facts to “neutralize” all the arguments dads might make against trying vegan foods. Maybe include a few meat-free “dad recipes.”
That’s the aim of a new campaign by Oatly, which is aimed at encouraging men aged 44 to 75 (described by the brand as “the least interested in anything vegan”) to try the brand.
The TV, video, digital and print campaign, created internally by the Swedish brand for the U.K. market, flips a range of familiar parent-child scenarios on their heads by having the kids take control and parent their parents.
The brand created four hilariously edgy short films as part of the campaign, produced by production house Smuggler and playing up dads’ “scary levels of dairy drinking”
In the first off-beat spot, a father is caught coming in late with a bottle of milk, only to be reprimanded by his young son who catches him red handed.
As if he were a teen sneaking in with a bottle of cheap booze to hide, the disappointed teenage son asks his ashamed father: “What have we here? Cow’s milk. Really?
Next, a daughter uses the subtle power of persuasion to convince her dad to say “no thanks” to milk in the tea he’s offered at her grandmother’s house.
This involves her silently boring her eyes into the back of his head—an effective tactic that all kids and parents will be familiar with.
The next spot, titled “I Hate My Life” (a claim often made by teenagers at the slightest sign of “no”), shows a dad asking his daughter to grab him a bottle of milk at the store.
“Dad, we talked about this” she says in the ad, heavily echoing the trope of teens asking their parents to buy them underage goods at the shops. “I’m not buying it for you.”
“I hate my life,” he says in response.
The final spot, titled “A Difficult Age” shows two kids—a girl and boy—talking outside their homes as if they were adults. The boy discusses the fact his just keeps drinking dairy and can’t stop (as it were forbidden, like booze) and the girl comforts him.
“How old is he now?” she asks. “52” the boy replies. “A difficult age,” she remarks.
As part of the campaign, Oatly has also partnered with British newspaper The Guardian to produce three bespoke supplements tackling climate change and sustainability, including a 24-page “Guide to Parenting Your Parents.”
All elements of the campaign direct consumers to the “help dad” website and tap into the growing veganuary movement.
“Dads are the best, except when it comes to eating and drinking sustainably, in which case, dads are the worst,” the website says.
Oatly Department of Mind Control (in house)
Creative Director: Michael Lee
Art Director: Björn Lindén
Copywriter: Daniel Vaccino
Project Manager: Tinny Ohlsson
UK Head of Marketing: Helen Bromley
Production Company: Smuggler
Director: Tom Speers
Producer: Jason Scanlon
Executive Producer: Fergus Brown
Editor: Ellie Johnson / Tenthree
Online: Electric Theatre Collective
Producers: Sam Snapper and Oscar Wendt
Sara Bäcklund & Alexander Blidner