The New Word


Brand | Digital | Influencer

How do you convince dairy milk lovers to drink plant-milk? This was our challenge with Oatly, the Swedish oat-milk brand as it entered the Hong Kong market back in 2019. Oatly believes that shifting from dairy to a plant-based diet is better for our bodies and the planet, but in Hong Kong, despite 90% of the native population being lactose intolerant, dairy consumption was increasing.* We raised a debate about dairy milk vs plant-based milk and persuade the public to buy Oatly.

*Hong Kong Dairy market expected to grow annually by nearly 5% (source: Statista 2019)


Our target audience was Hong Kong mass population. Our quantitative research showed a very strong association between milk and cows in Hong Kong - 98% adults say cows are the first thing they think of when they hear the word milk. We also found very low awareness and understanding of plant-based milk**.

We wanted to break this association with cows and get people to talk about alternatives and try Oatly. In a focus group with local Hongkongers we identified another problem: there wasn’t even a Chinese word for plant-based milk.

**Ipsos Mori research of 1000 Hong Kong people commissioned by Oatly March 2019


Our idea was to create a new Chinese word for plant-based milk 𫇵 by adding the ‘plant’ component to the Chinese word ‘milk’ to kick start a debate.


Armed with new research highlighting the issue we led an integrated campaign including PR, advertising, digital, influencer engagement and experiential marketing, and called on government to better define the category.


We’ve generated over 500 pieces of positive media coverage – including SCMP, CNN, HKET, Bloomberg, with impressions of 136m across 9 countries.

The campaign is being shared widely across social media, with a 100% increase in social media conversation for Oatly in the 2-week period following launch; conversation has since settled at a higher base vs Q1 2019. Major retailers Wellcome, ParknShop and 7-11 permitted use of the New Word at point of sale – across hundreds of stores in Hong Kong.


Pieces of positive media coverage


Impressions across 9 countries


Increase in social media conversion


APAC Effie Awards 2020

Small Budget Products” category - Bronze

Marketing Excellence Awards 2020

Excellence in Public Relations - Silver

MARKies Awards HK 2020

Best Idea: Integrated Marketing – Silver
Best Idea: Launch/ Rebranding – Gold
Best Idea: Public Relations – Gold

PR Awards Asia 2020

Greater China PR Campaign of the Year – Silver
Consumer Launch – Bronze
Cause-Related - Public Awareness – Bronze

PRWeek Global Awards 2020

“Best Campaign: Asia Pacific” – Highly Commended

“Consumer Launch” – Highly Commended

Sabre Awards Asia Pacific 2019
Greater China - Shortlisted