Plant-Based Eaters: Oatly Has an Emotional Support Hotline You Can Call on Thanksgiving

The brand is here to plant its own unique flag in the holiday

Ostensibly, Thanksgiving is a time for togetherness, spreading the spirit of gratitude, and chowing down with little to no reservations. Still, the day has the potential to be a rather stressful one for plant-based eaters planning to gather with families that are still beholden to the almighty turkey dinner with the dairy-heavy fixings.

Alas, support is on the way in the form of a special hotline, courtesy of alternative milk brand Oatly.

“Every Thanksgiving, millions of plant-based eaters endure a heavily meat and dairy-based holiday meal with family and friends who don’t necessarily understand or accept their dietary choices,” Oatly North America’s executive director of brand and creative, Armando Turco, told Adweek. “Oatly of course feels for our likeminded plant-based friends and wants to arm them with all the help they could need to not only get through these holiday meals but even positively influence dinner conversations.”

This Wednesday morning, the brand will launch the Oatly Emotional Support Hotline For Plant-Based Eaters in an effort to help its meat and dairy-free fans get through especially sticky holiday dinner table conversations. Between today and Nov. 24, those in need can dial the real hotline number—(866) OAT-LINE—and receive an assortment of conversational tools for the big day, including positive affirmations, statistics, a motivational locker room-style speech and, if all else fails, a blank audio void in which to scream.

On Thanksgiving Day, live plant-based experts will be operating the hotline in real time from 3-10 PM EST, ready to answer any questions or provide a listening ear to those in distress.

(Captions for the video have not been made available to Adweek. We will update the video once captions have been provided.)Oatly

A new dinner table

Oatly’s in-house creative team continues to tender a history of quirky marketing that resonates with consumers, from releasing a true-crime podcast to putting on an offbeat puppet show. Turco shares that the idea for the hotline stemmed from the same thought process that prompted previous campaigns.

“The idea came together as most of our best creative work does—from someone saying, ‘wouldn’t it be funny if we did this thing,’ to a fully executed program including social, TikTok and a live experience in mere weeks,” he shared. “And it turned out pretty hilarious.”

As America’s curiosity surrounding plant-based living continues to rise with 71% of the population dabbling in the lifestyle, brands like Oatly are in a unique position to create—or a least widen—serious inroads into popular food consumerism.

(Captions for the video have not been made available to Adweek. We will update the video once captions have been provided.)Oatly

So while plant-based milk might not have been largely considered a holiday contender years ago, 2022 provides new opportunities to create a real presence during this shopping-heavy time. And maybe that starts with longtime vegetarians and vegans having real opportunities to educate their families on their dietary choices, even if it’s sparked by a comedic phone call.

“It’s a way for Oatly to take a virtual seat at your holiday dinners, but do it in our very own way, always bringing a dose of nonsense—like dialing a number to let out a cathartic scream,” said Turco, “and of course to serve as a reminder that it’s a great time to school your family and friends about all the delicious, climate-friendly and dietary benefits of plant-based food.”



Executive director, brand and creative NA: Armando Turco

Creative director NA, writer: Eric Routenberg
Creative director NA, art: Rinee Shah
Copy director: Suzanne Steele
Senior producer: Celia Ettinger
Design director: Malia Killings
Senior designer: Raluca Desa
Content producer: Paula Perez
Senior project manager: Ana Ponce de Leon-Dios
Director, brand and engagement: Emily Keeney

Hotline Production: Cosmic Standard

Technical director: Jacob Winik

Producer/engineer: Aja Simpson
Editor: Ninna Gaensler-Debs
Project manager: Charlotte Morlie
Executive producer: Eliza Smith

Video production and editorial: Sky Pie

Executive producer: Daniel Castro
Creative producer: Boris Ebzeev

Mix: Optimus

Senior audio engineer: Marina Killion

Post producer: Alex Campbell

Casting: O’Haver

Casting director: Jenny O’Haver

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