Oatly mocks dairy-loving dads in debut TV campaign

Campaign encourages children to talk with parents about milk alternatives.

Oat milk brand Oatly is wryly encouraging middle-aged men to give up dairy milk in its first TV ad campaign, from in-house creative director Michael Lee.  

The campaign premiered today with two ads, directed by Tom Speers through Smuggler, which aired back to back during The Voice UK on ITV1.

The ads use humour to encourage conversation between children and parents about switching away from regular milk. 

Created by the Oatly Department of Mind Control (Oatly’s in-house creative team), “Help-dad” shows fathers as their teenage children attempt to coax them out of drinking cow’s milk.

While one dad professes that he “hates his life” after his daughter refuses to bring him a pint of milk, another passes up a pint of the "white stuff" in support of his child.

The campaign includes social-media activity (including ads on Spotify and Twitch) and double-page spreads across the national press.

“We know we’re in the midst of a climate emergency, but there’s a group in society who aren’t grasping the urgency of it,” Michael Lee, creative director of Oatly, said.

“‘Help-dad’ is our way of helping teens help their dad or mum or uncle or anyone else in their life in need of some veggification, to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle."

The campaign is inspired by a survey carried out by Ipsos on behalf of Oatly, which found that middle-aged men are the least likely demographic within society to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.

As part of the campaign, Oatly has created a website housing statistics and tips, which children can use to chat with older generations about the impact of animal-based products on the environment.

The website also includes recipes for classic “dad meals” – including bangers and mash with onion gravy, beef stroganoff and spaghetti bolognese – with the aim of making the transition from dairy to Oatly a tad easier.

In addition, Oatly has partnered The Guardian to create three supplements tackling topics around the climate emergency, including a 24-page “Guide to parenting your parents”.

Lee continued: “Hopefully, by encouraging some difficult dinner-table conversations across the nation, we can get climate-friendly food and drink on even more family shopping lists this year.”

Last year, Oatly launched a very strange campaign to coincide with Veganuary.


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