Oatly, a Swedish milk company whose product is made primarily from oats, has been in the news lately. You may recall its fun, albeit somewhat odd, Super Bowl spot in which the CEO is singing about the brand in a field of oats. Two weeks ago, Oatly had a public stock offering on the Nasdaq, with a nice little first day bump. And not long before that they made a neat hire in Heidi Hackemer as EVP creative director. Should be an interesting company to watch.
But one thing I can’t wrap my head around is their tagline. “It’s like milk but made for humans.” Milk has for millennia been the life-blood of humans. Read mother’s milk. So the statement is intuitive wrong. Whether they are talking about milk allergies or global warming, I’m not completely sure. Probably both, but either way they are trying to deposition accepted and current forms of milk and other mild substitutes.
Moreover, to position your product “for humans,” or in other words everybody, though perhaps a smart massification of consumers, it is not very special. Air is for everybody. Water is for everybody. People don’t select brands because they are for everybody, they select brand because they are for “me.”
I think I know the play here but it just seems a little weak. I predict the sing-songy line will be around a few more months, maybe a year, then put to pasture.