a2 Milk looks to hook new drinkers

Who: Agrifoods Cooperative (a2 Milk), with Zulu Alpha Kilo for strategy and creative and The Other Shop for French-language advertising; Spy Films for production (Fatal Farm directing); Zulubot, The Vanity and Oso Audio for post-production. Zenith for media.

What: “Feel Ama2ing,” a campaign promoting a2 Milk as a gut-friendly dairy option for Canadians who struggle to digest regular milk. It’s among the first work out of Zulu’s new Vancouver office, which was announced in February.

When & Where: The campaign is rolling out this week with two 15-second TV spots, and a 90-second online spot. It also includes contextually relevant online ads in digital and social channels.

Why: According to a release from Zulu Alpha Kilo and Agrifoods, the campaign’s objective is to “disrupt purchasing habits and get people to consider a new brand of milk that helps them feel amazing.”

It’s promoting a2 Milk as being easier on digestion because it comes from cows that naturally produce only the a2 protein, compared to regular cows that produce a blend of the a1 and a2 protein. (An explanation of the difference, and what it means, can be found here).

How: The campaign uses the idea of “catfishing” to show how a2 Milk can be a lot easier to digest than being conned by a catfisher—which in this case turns out to be an actual catfish. Danielle Pearson, president of Agrifoods’ nutrition division, said the campaign was purposefully designed to be “distinctive and disruptive.”

The 90-second online version of the features three linked stories. It opens on a woman meeting a date at a coffee shop, only to discover that she’s been catfished… by an actual catfish. “Are you even a doctor?” she asks, drinking her coffee with a2 Milk.

“Gut friendly a2 milk, easier to digest than getting catfished by a catfish,” says a voiceover as the ad seems to be drawing to an end before he says, “Wait, there’s more.”

The spot then shows the catfish at home, swiping (“finning?”) his way through a dating app before coming across a beguiling catfish named Marie. Cut to another coffee shop date, where the catfish discovers that he, too, has been catfished… by a catfisherman. Again the ad feels like it’s drawing to a close but the story still has one more chapter in which the woman who was catfished meets the catfisherman.

And we quote: “For us, it was about stopping power and being able to get people to think about milk in a different way. We purposely avoided any dairy tropes and took an unconventional path that highlights the attributes of a2 Milk in a way that will resonate.” — Brian Murray, executive creative director, Zulu Alpha Kilo

Chris Powell