Oatly’s big budget push gives puppets Norm & Al their own mini-series

Oatly’s latest maverick campaign is centred around a series of five mini YouTube dramas called “The New Norm&Al Show” featuring two animated oat drink cartons called Norm and Al who are doing their best to be cool and stick to a plant-based diet, while Norm’s old friend, milk, is a bit of a thug.

There’s a big budget behind the campaign, with ads on digital TV channels, YouTube and social media, as well as OOH in major cities and on buses. Oatly has also partnered with The Guardian across print, display and podcasts, and will give away thousands of sample oat coffees in special Norm & Al cups.

Oatly hasn’t stinted on the production, either. Norm and Al are the creations of puppet maker Andy Gent, best known for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and the voices include Alexander Perkins (The Office) who plays Norm, Ethan Lawrence (After Life) who plays Al, and Rob Witcomb (Transformers) who plays Milk.

The brand’s creative director, Michael Lee, said: “After trying to help people eat more plant-based with super long Instagram posts, dorky Superbowl ads, nonsensical headlines and picking on dads in the UK, we’ve now landed on puppets to do the job. The New Norm&Al show lets us deliver a message that people might normally roll their eyes at, but because it’s puppets, well, who doesn’t like puppets?”

Oatly’s campaign will launch across Europe over the next few weeks in markets including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands, as well as Australia.

Well-crafted and comprehensive, Oatly’s Norm and Al look like they will be hard to avoid.

MAA creative scale: 6.5

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.