In March, FORWARD was briefed to support the 2017 advertising campaign for UNCLE TOBYS. The key objective was to highlight the natural energy of oats through creative PR storytelling.


To support the new advertising campaign around the power of oats consumption, we needed to implement a creative campaign that emphasised that UNCLE TOBYS products are packed with natural oat power.

If we were going to change consumer behaviour, our idea had to inspire enable them to re-think the diversity and power of oats. Cutting through to media and consumers outside of recipe content would be a challenge. Therefore, our key focus was to drive talk-ability, and create an engaging hook into the new oats ATL campaign.

Our Response

With many PR activities, ideas that are clever get the most coverage and inspire a reaction; making people laugh or making them want to get involved. To start new conversations around the natural power of oats, PR needed to:

A) Create talk-ability and instant awareness with all Australians for UNCLE TOBYS as a Natural Oat Energy

B) Drive association around the ‘power of oats’ with UNCLE TOBYS

As April Fool’s Day was around the corner, we had a window of opportunity to leverage one of the biggest days of the year, where brands can ignite conservations with new and existing advocates. April Fool’s Day allows brands to be playful and drive conversation, especially on social media.

To emphasise the ‘Natural Oat Energy Company’ message we created a PR campaign around the power of oats, with the fictional launch of UNCLE TOBYS ‘O Energy’ Oat batteries – the world’s first renewable batteries, powered entirely by oats. The concept was inspired by the real benefits of UNCLE TOBYS Oats – the power and energy that oats give Australians, all year round.

Media are familiar with branded content around April Fool’s Day, so they expect stories to be fantastical. To ensure we caught their eye, we exaggerated our narrative and carved a fictional story behind the batteries, including how the energy source was discovered and how they work, which was an essential part of the fictitious story.

“After years of analysis, scientists believe that batteries powered by oats are more powerful and long lasting than any other household battery on the market. Traditionally, the positive and negative electrodes are separated by a basic chemical electrolyte – usually, a liquid or a dry powder. Different to any other battery, the energy harnessed from oats creates a thick oat puree which generates a superior reaction.”

We brought the campaign to life by designing a set of high quality, bold and realistic product images that would make people believe that oats can power batteries. As part of our targeted media strategy, we pitched our fictional media release to broadcast, news and lifestyle outlets under embargo the day before, receiving positive feedback for the concept. This approach enabled media to prepare stories in advance and ensure our story was included in April Fool’s Day ‘Best of’ features.

To create a big impact and inspire online engagement, we also liaised with the brand’s social team to utilise visual assets and announce the ‘O Energy’ oat batteries on UNCLE TOBYS social media channels.





The UNCLE TOBYS ‘O Energy’ oat batteries campaign reached an audience of 46,335,408 and generated 135 pieces of broadcast, online and print coverage.

Highlights included 67 clips of syndicated broadcast coverage across Australia on Ten Eyewitness News and one of Australia’s highest reaching breakfast shows, The Today Show. The news was also featured on top tier outlets, with hero coverage seen on News.com.au, Daily Mail Australia, Nine.com.au, Mashable and SBS.

All pieces used the branded ‘O Energy’ oat batteries image, and included the key messaging around the natural power of oats and the ways in which oats power Australia.

On social media, the post reached over 78,000 Australians, with the likes and comments showing positive sentiment and affinity for the brand.

  • Date Published:Monday 24 July 2017