Oatly’s ‘Are you stupid?’ campaign picks a fight with the European Parliament

Oatly is gaining quite a reputation as a polarising advertiser, and the Swedish brand is now picking a fight with the European Parliament. A new campaign is stoking the flames of a real-life clash with dairy farmers over the use of the word “milk” by plant-based dairy brands like Oatly.

These “Are you stupid?” films are pretty funny, although they do look a bit like an anti-Brexit comedy sketch.

Through its in-house agency, the Department of Mind Control, Oatly first came to MAA’s attention with its “help Dad” campaign, which recruited teenagers to free their idiot middle aged fathers from the tyranny of dairy.

Then its Super Bowl ad, which featured the company’s founder playing an organ in a field, again deliberately polarised opinion – Oatly even sent out t-shirts during the game that said “I hate the Oatly ad.”

Tobias Nordström, head of planning at Oatly, says: “It’s clear consumers already understand the difference between plant-based and dairy products, and that the restrictions AM 171 threatens to impose will actually make consumer choice more complicated. It’s quite absurd to us.”

For the spat with the European Parliament — which is real — there’s a petition to sign and a #StopPlantBasedCensorship hashtag for online discourse.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.