OAK launched themselves onto Facebook in September this year. The launch is part of a phase shift that migrates from their television commercials to running a campaign where Social Media is the driving force.

It’s is an interesting case study from the perspective of strategy construction. A prime example of how the level of consideration given to each stage/element of the strategy will dictate whether the subsequent stages lose or gain strength.

Firstly: Brand Personality.

This one is a mixed bag. Whilst I can appreciate moving away from the incredibly overdone “handsome man tells you why his product is also handsome” approach, a brand personality must always be accessible.

This boils down to instinct and reflex. Your personality must have subtle appeal, at the very least to your specific target audience. It must instinctively have positive appeal. Whilst OAK is funny in its writing, the delivery of this writing is where the campaign hits a rough point. Oaks star, and by extension, the personification of the brand, is aggressive, unsettling and comes across as relatively terrifying.

Whilst you might chuckle at some of the things he says, comedy alone does not sell you the product. If the personality does not resonate well after the commercial has concluded, we will forget about it. Whilst there may be a group of people who like this campaign, if the appeal is not to positivity, audiences are polarised.

OAK’s terrifying star has taken a back seat, at least for the time being to make way for the Social Media  ampaign.

Secondly: The structure and escalation of the campaign.

Oak had little to no identity 18 months ago, until branded milk company Parmalat gave the control of the account to the Three Drunk Monkeys advertising agency.

The campaign began by getting plenty of exposure through the aforementioned television commercials before having a final call-to-action for people to join them online. Whilst it’s not uncommon to see “like us on Facebook” slapped in the bottom corner of a billboard, having a free-to-air television commercial where “like us on facebook” is the central message is a little unusual. However that’s exactly what OAK did.

As a general rule, Social Media campaigns work best when aspects of them extend to, or are grounded heavily in real-life. Kicking off the campaign in this manner was a brave, yet solid move.

This component earns a big tick. However because of the source of the message, the stage is crippled and does not maximise on it’s potential.

Thirdly: Reverse Robberies.

What are they? They are this.

These “reverse robberies” have been the driving notion behind the entire Social Media campaign to date. Once again, structure is excellent, as the content that has been distributed in the build up to these videos has clearly deliberately been paving the way. Thus providing the videos with context, momentum and strength.

The videos themselves are  a novel idea, and actually quite well executed. The shakey-camera action sequences make the entire thing appear gritty, fast paced and desperate like something out of a Jason Bourne film. Whilst the masks are very reminiscent of the famous heist sequence at the beginning of Batman: The Dark knight. Or just about any heist sequence for that matter. Content construction hits the nail on the head. Whilst the first video is arguably staged, the Facebook page called for fans to name stores that suffered from a lack of Oak. Better still, they responded by actually going to some of the stores that were suggested.

However the masks worn by the actors featured in the videos are a clear and deliberate nod to the star of the old television commercials. Maintaining the stars personality would be a great idea, if it had been a success.

Three drunk monkeys clearly know what they’re doing.  They have manufactured a strategy that drives the key messages of the brand personality, and every activity that they do continues to drive home those key messages.

(Roughly)

  1. Only OAK eliminates the state of hungrythirsty
  2. OAK takes the hard-line in the fight against hungrythirsty and is not to be messed with.

Granted, it’s just an educated guess, but every single piece of content distributed for the OAK “hungrythirsty” campaign is working to convey these messages.

This is what the result of a comprehensive communications strategy looks like; multiple mediums and methods each distributing unique content to convey the one brand personality. If done correctly this can be incredibly effective.

This said; the personality itself needs to be strong and considered if it is to be charismatic and effective in promoting the brand itself. A campaign built on a poor personality can be a castle built on sand.