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What Oatly’s “carton copy” reveals about product copywriting

If you’ve ever wandered into the dairy alternatives section of the grocery store, you’re almost certainly familiar with Oatly.

You’ve probably picked up a carton. You’ve probably seen the huge paragraphs of witty, almost-poetic copy inked onto the side of the carton.

And, maybe, you’ve taken one home… hopefully after paying for it.

Here’s an example of what you’ll read on an Oatly carton:

“Hello Future Oat Drink Lover. We didn’t write that headline because we have some kind of special ability to see into the future or because we think that as long as you think positively, positive things will happen. Nope.

What Oatly’s “carton copy” reveals about product copywriting

We just know that despite the fact that there are a lot of alternatives to cow’s milk out there for you to pour into a glass or add to your morning cereal, the combo of oatsome deliciousness and what our products can do for you is rather challenging to find elsewhere.

And because we were the company that made the original oat drink 25 years ago when it wasn’t very cool to make oat drinks, we are pretty sure that if we have had you wait 25 years to try the original oat drink, we wouldn’t disappoint you once we finally got there.

But enough of listening to a philosophizing oat drink carton, give it the ol’ college try and we’ll see you on the other side.”

Two things we can learn from Oatly’s copy:

  1. Sometimes, it’s OK to throw all the old-school principles out the window. Oatly’s copy works for many people because it feels like a conversation. It’s a message from a friend. It’s fun. Sometimes, that’s just what you need.
  2. Write friendly copy on your product packaging! Most marketers neglect product packaging copy. But remember… it’s easier and cheaper to get a repeat customer than to find new ones. So try building relationships right on your product packaging.
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