I got the finger from Oatly's Creative Director...
About a month ago I criticised Oatly's "spam" campaign - a campaign that took Out of Home marketing to new levels of "in your face" billboard marketing driving people to subscribe to the Oatly newsletter. I complained that the billboards had ruined the aesthetic and charm of my local U-Bahn (underground) station - Hermanplatz in Berlin. To be clear I am a fan and loyal customer of Oatly having spent the last three years making thousands of oat flat whites for my girlfriend Anna with Oatly's oat milk.
After posting my comments about the "Spam" campaign I didn't expect the following to happen:
🚀 42,000 impressions on my post
😭 A lot of people disagreeing with me
😮💨 Some agreeing with me
👋 The team at Oatly engaging with me in comment threads and DMs
But the last thing I expected was to be invited for coffee with Oatly's Creative Director - Kevin Lynch 😮
We spent Saturday morning exploring Neukölln and Kreuzberg (mainly because the cafe I suggested to meet at wasn't opening for an hour and I then had to frantically find somewhere else to talk that wasn't in the rain).
Finally indoors, we spoke about the campaign, it's goals, the reactions, Oatly's rise to becoming the market leader within the plant based sector, and some of the incredible marketing strategies used along the way to get there. Later we spoke about ThisThat, our #brandlift capabilities and how we measure the impact of campaigns surveying people truly exposed to campaign content.
I even pitched a marketing campaign titled "Blending In" which centred around Oatly's marketing efforts blending in to the environments in which they were placed, encouraging audiences to search for or find Oatly in their day to day lives and posting their findings online. The campaign would be promoted utilising Influencers and had strong foundations as an eco-friendly campaign. I think he took it quite well.
I was surprised to hear that Oatly haven't gone all out on #Influencer marketing but would love to see what they come up with in the coming year and hopefully measure the impact of their campaigns (using trusted data rather than my opinions of course).
All in all, I wanted to say that while I didn't initially like the "Spam" campaign, I can't commend the team at Oatly and Kevin in particular enough for how they deal with online keyboard warriors like myself. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Kevin and my love for Oatly has grown ten fold! This is a company that behaves like a human as Kevin pointed out to me and I totally see this. Taking the time to speak to your customers and fans is one thing - taking time to speak to those that don't agree with you is another. I definitely deserved being flipped off by Kevin here but I hope I can say that I've made a new friend and definitely someone I look up to within the marketing space.
Keep it up Oatly!