Oatly’s launches first TV campaign and ‘Help-Dad’ creative to drive cross-generation conversation around climate change

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Oatly, the original Swedish oat drink company, has launched its first UK TV and VOD campaign, plus its biggest ever print, social and digital activation – Help-Dad. With research revealing how middle-aged men are the least likely segment of society to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, the campaign is designed to help teenagers talk to their dads about eating and drinking more sustainably. 

Help-Dad kicked off with an ITV Proudly Presents partnership, to premiere two 40 second TVCs. To engage a cross-generational audience, Oatly’s ads ran back-to-back during ITV’s primetime The Voice UK, at 9.15pm on Saturday 16th January. 

Developed by Oatly Department of Mind Control and produced by Smuggler, the four TVCs created for the campaign show typically British family settings with narratives that flip the classic ‘teenager vs parent’ relationship on its head. Instead of the parents showing concern at the teens’ behaviour, it’s the youngsters who want to talk to dads about their scary levels of dairy drinking. 

Following the exclusive broadcast, the commercials have moved to VOD (ITV, Channel 4 and Sky), YouTube and social media for the remainder of the three week campaign. On a mission to kick-off conversation and household debate, Help-Dad is driven further through Oatly’s biggest UK social spend. This is complemented by Spotify and Twitch ads and bespoke podcast partnership episodes. 

All creative drives to Oatly’s Help-Dad website, which features an inverted teenage guide, a Dad Guide if you will. The site hosts hard-to-argue-with stats, plus tips for how to chat to older generations – in particular dads – about the impact of animal-based products on the environment. Help-Dad also features plant-based recipes for classic ‘Dad Meals’, giving families the tools to ease some great-tasting alternatives onto the dinner table. 

Oatly’s creative director, Michael Lee, comments: “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. Our research reveals that middle-aged men in the UK are the least likely to give up their meat and dairy for the sake of the planet, often despite the best efforts of their teenage children. 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. 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.”

In addition to the digital campaign, Oatly has partnered with The Guardian to produce three bespoke supplements tackling topics around the climate emergency. This includes a 24 page ‘Guide to Parenting Your Parents’ supplement running at the end of January. Multiple print double page spreads will appear widely across national press, in Oatly’s recognisable copy-heavy style.