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New OOH Rule: 634 Words or More —Oatly Goes (Way Too) Long in Latest Billboard Campaign

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Second billboard to complete the copy from the first billboard


New OOH Rule: 634 Words or More

—Oatly Goes Long in Latest Billboard Campaign —Or Did They?


Once again here is a committed demonstration of creative courage from Oatly using outdoor advertising. These billboards from Oatly, announcing their launch in New Zealand, is a rough continuation of their previous out of home creative we shared previous years; namely engaging in personal conversation with the ‘street’ while paying little attention to brand benefits, identification or any of the ‘typical’ fundamentals of advertising.

OOH Today has had a lot to say about the Oatly’s out of home creative over the last 3 years, (OMG! Oatly Misses the Message, OATLY is Back BIG, in OOH, and It’s Swedish, It’s Like Milk and It’s OOH) and we might add, their OOH creative like the oat drink brand itself, is beginning to grow on us. 

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As for following the rules for out of home? Six words or less? Forget about it.  How about 634 words by our count, on billboard 1 and 39 words on billboard 2 (not counting the package). Yes, there is a carton of the product on each billboard face in case you didn’t notice. 

billboard 1 close-up

The creative credit, if credit is to be given, goes to art director Björn Lindén and copywriter Ida Backman at Oatly’s in-house team in Sweden. One wonders, if and how long it took for the ‘free first 50 oat lattes or flatties giveaway’ took and if they even hit 50 freebies everyday as their offer provides? Read the first billboard for explanation.

 board 2 close-up

Kevin Lynch, creative director at Oatly, tells it this way: “The brand’s voice is really human, and if you haven’t noticed, a lot of humans tend to drone on. Plus, we figure if we use all the words, some of them will probably sound really smart.”

‘Really smart’  if anyone actually reads any of it. 

We also noted these comments on Lynch’s LinkedIn post, ‘The wordiest, stupidest billboards ever.’  “I hope you’re proud of yourselves, Björn Lindén and Ida Backman”Are Lynch and crew genius marketers? 

Oatly, we truly don’t know if you should be smacked on the back of the head or congratulated.

OOH Community, what are your thoughts? Smack? or Congrats?
Please share at the bottom of this post in ‘LEAVE A REPLY’


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  1. gideon adey says

    Well they are certainly asking to have photos taken of the advertising – to rad it later!

  2. Margie Carr says

    I like it. A lot. And if there is one thing you need to know about why, it’s this:
    1. The caption is highly legible; the brand is mentioned in the caption. If you read the caption, then see the high volume of text below it, the message to the brain is – there is a lot to know about this brand. Message received.
    2. By virtue of being controversial, it has great legs to become a talking point online, giving great added brand exposure and value.
    3. It’s highly original. I love the black&white. I can just imagine the creative constraint in the background!
    I like it. A lot.

  3. @MargieCarr great analysis. Oatly is checking off a few of the boxes and your listed 3 are right on target. Depending on their goals with the ads maybe all of the desired outcomes. Thank you

  4. So @GideonAdey we are going to press your feet closer to the fire. Smack or Congrats?

  5. Conrad Schutte says

    It definitely go against what I was taught and learned over the years of keep it simple. However The Brand is well defined on top and the logo further down. In my experience I don’t think people will necessarily take the and read all of the script but their curiosity will most probably get the hand over themselves and they will pursue it further online. This is perhaps the attention the Brand is actually looking for; higher volumes of online traffic and visits.
    I therfore think it is an innovative approach.
    Best of luck to the campaign.

  6. Thank you @ConradSchutte for superior insights on the Oatly campaign. It has grown on us and we agree with your thoughtful comments. We still would love to know if and how fast the free ‘coffees’ took to giveaway.
    Though not necessarily an objective or measure for success, we hope there was some traction there as well.

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