Swedish milk substitute brand Oatly approached experiential firm Slice and PR agency Mischief to create something a little different. "Oatly came to see us looking to reinvigorate its brand," says Damon Statt, creative director of Mischief. "It was also looking to gain media coverage and attention from buyers."
Toni Petersson, Oatly's chief executive, says: "We were already well known by vegans and people who are lactose-intolerant, but we felt the time was right to bring Oatly to a wider audience. We wanted to encourage people to consider Oatly as part of their lifestyle, so the event needed to reflect that."
The 30 August event was the experiential 'hero piece' among the brand's wider UK marketing campaign. Mischief worked with Slice to create a one-day festival in Brixton, London, that clearly signified Oatly's new personality. "We wanted an event that was more than a gig with a sponsor," says Alec Braun, managing director of Slice. "It was about making something new that belonged to Oatly, not just branding an existing event."
Clement Worrall ran the catering, Promo Logistics managed fulfilment and Mash Staffing provided extra help on the day.
After entering the venue, which was dotted with hay bales, guests could get straight into sampling the product. Oatly had been made into fruit smoothies, pancakes and banana muffins, and was even included in flat whites, cappuccinos and lattes.
There were plenty of places to enjoy the treats: on banqueting benches in the Oatly tent or on deckchairs and hay bale thrones.
If a photo was shared on social media with the hashtag #wownocow, guests could try the 'lie-in lounge'. Here, beds were set up for them to chill on while they waited for the music to start.
Swedish acts Urban Cone and Marigold kept younger members of the crowd entertained, and the organisers had brought rabbits and hares for a Kaninhop derby - the Swedish sport of rabbit show-jumping.
In addition, there was a giant board set up for Kubb, also known as 'Viking chess', and smoothie bikes that let guests blend their own drinks through kinetic energy. A performance by singer-songwriter Kyla La Grange rounded off the day.
With an attendance of 1,000, the event was considered a success by all parties. Hundreds of photos and posts were shared over social media, and Mischief estimates that these could have reached around three quarters of a million people online. Further to this, Break-fest received 60 pieces of media coverage, potentially reaching more than 20 million people in the UK and abroad. Statt attributes this success to the event's diverse appeal. "There was a whole raft of writers there from food, music, events and general lifestyle blogs," he explains. "It covered a really wide spectrum of genres."
Break-fest also fulfilled the brief with regards to sampling numbers - Oatly was consumed 8,000 times. "We were really keen to engage people with the product in different ways, not just by handing it out pre-packed," explains Braun.
"Whether or not guests knew about the brand before, they knew exactly what it was about when they left," adds Statt.
And Petersson hints: "We'd love to bring Break-fest back to the UK, making it even bigger and better for next year."
"By realising one consistent idea across live, social and PR, a sampling brief can turn into an opportunity for millions to take away a brand personality"
Damon Statt, Mischief
"Brits aren't too bad at dancing, they love a show-jumping rabbit and they certainly enjoy their drinkable fibres"
Toni Petersson, Oatly