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Oak reverse robberies


Oak reverse robberies


Winner – The Monkeys’ Oak Reverse Robberies campaign was the winner of both the ‘Brand Loyalty’ and the ‘Social Media Marketing’ categories in this year’s IAB Awards, drawing praise from the judges for demonstrating the value social can bring to an old business challenge. Using Facebook to seed a creative idea and then to execute the campaign, the ‘Reverse Robberies’ campaign for Parmalat’s Oak flavoured milk was another campaign that placed the power in the hands of its customers and was well-rewarded after delivering a ‘pitch perfect’ tone of voice and interaction with its passionate fans.

: Oak ‘Reverse Robberies’

Client: Parmalat

Agency: The Monkeys, Jungle Boys



Oak drinkers had a problem. A change in ownership had left Oak flavoured milk without distribution. It was disappearing from convenience store fridges. The Oak Facebook page was flooded with complaints from fans who were up in arms about the lack of availability of their favourite milk, but with the category in rapid decline, shopkeepers were showing limited interest in stocking it.  Oak Reverse Robberies Facebook messages 1



Parmalat tasked The Monkeys with securing distribution for Oak in 20 stores where consumer demand was highest, changing the perception of sceptical shopkeepers.



In order to prove demand for the product, it was determined that the passion and participation of Oak’s loyal fans would be critical. Using the insight gained from identifying the mass of Facebook conversations about product non-availability, the campaign aimed to engage and mobilise loyal fans to prove the popularity of Oak and kick-start distribution in locations that needed it the most.

Naturally, the campaign sought to reinforce Oak’s provocative and irreverent personality to increase the number of outlets stocking the product.

Oak Reverse Robberies group cheers



The ‘Reverse Robberies’ campaign adopted a shock-and-awe approach to distribution, one that turned robbery on its head by forcibly stocking convenience stores, and one that would dovetail with Oak’s existing advertising campaign.

A ‘Reverse Robberies’ manifesto was published on Facebook and Oak fans nominated stores in need of a reverse robbery. Once a store had enough nominations to support sales, they were ‘reverse robbed’ by a gang dressed as Sergeant John Henry, the lead character from the ongoing Oak on-air campaign, which would ‘force’ its way into stores to fill the shelf with the drink. Each reverse robbery was videoed and shared online.


Oak Reverse Robberies tell us where


As Oak flavoured milk already had a highly active community, but given the limited budget, Facebook was identified as the choice for the campaign’s lead channel, with secondary channels including YouTube and a blogger outreach program amplifying the activity. After launch, a virtual circle of fan requests ensured that the campaign punched above its budgetary weight in terms of share of voice and extended and generated the buzz around the ‘Reverse Robberies’ movement.



Oak’s Facebook fans were highly engaged, submitting thousands of requests for a reverse robbery and comprehensively exceeding the campaign’s target.

The campaign also evolved in real time, with fans requesting a reverse robbery for their home. Oak obliged and more content was created, extending the length of the campaign and driving deeper engagement and brand conversations.

The campaign also scored the number two slot on YouTube’s coveted ‘Entertainment’ category.




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