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A snapshot of a plant-based year – Oatly

Oatly Post Milk Generation

A year in oat:

When working with a unique brand like Oatly, there’s never any shortage of excitement, challenges and new hurdles to vault on the mission towards shifting the world towards a more plant-based diet. 

In 2023 alone, we showed up at Eurovision with the Wet Nelly (more on that to come…), questioned the nation’s complicated relationship with milk, jumped on the Love Island villa conversations, navigated tricky topics in the press and launched plant-based Soft Serve throughout the UK. Here’s a whistlestop tour of what a press office year looks like when you’re working with Alfred:


Eurovision: Inserting Oatly into Culture

When Eurovision landed in the UK, this was too good an opportunity to miss. We teamed up with Great British Bake Off superstar Lizzie Acker, to bring a Wet Nelly bake to the masses – a traditional Liverpudlian pud, with a plant-based twist. We partnered with a local cafe to give out slices of this delicious bake during the week and captured the content to amplify on social and to share the recipe with press so everyone could get involved in the Eurovision baking fun at home securing coverage in City AM amongst other nationwide titles… we’re not saying it led Sweden to win but perhaps it had an influence…..


Go Blue: Amplifying a trade launch 

Oatly’s range of Go Blue products was an exciting step for the brand, but without being “new” news for the media, we needed something a little extra to tell the story. We teamed-up with relationship expert, Paul Brunson, and dug into why we can’t break-up with milk – with the Go Blue range being the solution to your relationship woes, with the new range making it easier than ever not to default to dairy. We created delicious vegan “break-up” recipes with the range, and delivered coverage across trade, national and lifestyle media – from interviews with Paul to classic product placement. 


Soft Serve: Launching a delicious new product to press and influencers

We made Oatly’s Soft Serve the talk of the town(s) during summer by supporting their nationwide truck tour with a regional influencer campaign. We invited foodie content creators on TikTok and Instagram down to each location to indulge in Soft Serve and Fries. The proof is in the pudding, so we dropped into media houses with the latest in decadent plant-based innovation, serving Soft Serve with nostalgic dessert toppings and sauces. Commercial partners were at the heart of Soft Serve’s roll out across the UK. We invited influencers down to each retailer to sample Soft Serve in a variety of dishes and drive footfall to stores.


Love Island: Reactive newsjacking 

The Casa Amor villa is full of intrigue, and this year a strange exchange between two islanders around the origin of oat milk opened the door for Oatly to enter the chat. We issued a reactive statement to press clarifying that oats can’t be milked, and that we know oat drinks come from oats – to clear up any confusion. This secured pick-up across lifestyle and UK regional press including The Sun and OK Magazine, and was received humorously by the media and gave us an opportunity to remind the world that Oatly has been making oat drinks for 25 years. 


Press Office: Ongoing placement and recipe coverage 

For a brand like Oatly, it’s vital to continue with a presence in the key product round-ups and educate consumers on how to use the product. We created a bank of recipe content, inspired and informed by search intent and rising vegan recipes, to seed throughout the year securing coverage in the likes of Waitrose Magazine, Delicious, BBC Good Food, Women & Home and the Daily Express. Alongside this, we made sure Oatly continued to feature in all the top vegan round-ups across trade, national and lifestyle media. 

The results speak for themselves, we achieved over 100 dedicated pieces of coverage throughout 2023 across new and exciting lifestyle titles, bringing the plant-based mission to more people and more homes throughout the UK. 

And a taster to show that PR really does drive action, Oatly’s Soft Serve became a breakout Google search term (meaning Google searches increased by over 5,000%!), showing that people were actively searching for the brand far more than usual during and after our campaign. We’ll raise an oat-milk latte to that!

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