Oatly is keen for a larger share of the market by publicly touting its own carbon footprint in print ads and billboards, encouraging milk-sellers to do the same. It is playfully promoting environmental transparency and urging companies to redeem its offer of free advertising.
To avail the advertising space, companies have to visit a designated micro-site and answer 68 questions. These questions are the ones that Oatly answered to earn its climate certification. It will pay for one free out-of-home or print ad with a maximum value of $50,000.
Armando Turco, Oatly executive creative director, said the ultimate goal of the campaign is to advocate for transparency on the impact that products have on the planet so consumers can make more informed purchases. He pointed out that climate footprint labels are a standard-setting move and only truly work for consumers if other companies follow suit.
Oatly, as part of its challenge to dairy brands, listed statistics comparing its products to cow’s milk. The Swedish oat-drink company highlighted that Oatly Barista sold in the U.S. uses 71 percent less water to produce than comparable cow’s milk. But Oatly has also come under fire around sustainable concerns. Its website lists many of the brand’s missteps over the years. Oatly was criticized in 2020 for selling a stake to private equity firm Blackstone, which was accused of contributing to deforestation in the Amazon. Oatly defended its decision saying it was the only way to go if they want a change in the world. Moreover, the company was accused of overstating environmental claims in one of its marketing campaigns. The UK Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Oatly’s green claims were misleading and banned the initiative. Now, Oatly has risen with a cheeky campaign dedicated to unpacking criticism and questionable past efforts.