The dairy industry’s “Got Milk?” campaign is one of the most famous advertising campaigns of the last twenty years. It was a transformative campaign, one that dealt with “the most boring project imaginable” and turned it into something well known and highly recognizable. However, the dairy industry has ditched the familiar “Got Milk?” slogan and has picked up “Milk Life” as the new catchphrase. However, can “Milk Life” save the dairy industry?
According to the USDA, per-capita consumption of fluid milk and cream fell by 25 percent from 1975 to 2012 and is on a continuing decline. Julia Kadison, the interim CEO of MilkPEP, attributes this decline to factors such as long-term unemployment, a declining birth rate, and the rise of substitute products for dairy milk like almond and soy milk. With these rates on the decline, “Milk Life” has not only big shoes to fill but also big improvements to make.
The new campaign has no celebrities or milk mustaches – it features regular people and a recent commercial shows splashes of milk propelling people through their daily activities. The previous campaign spent a lot of time on kids- MilkPEP sent a lot of posters to schools to promote to children. However, “Milk Life” focuses on parents and other adults. The new ads showcase milk in a hyper-competitive food and beverage marketplace. It points out that a glass of milk can have eight grams of protein.
Meanwhile, “Got Milk?” isn’t gone for good. The original commissioners of the campaign, the California state milk processor board, are continuing to use the ads and MilkPEP will continue to license the phrase. Jeff Goodby, co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners who were the original creators of “Got Milk?”, says he’s not disappointed about MilkPEP adapting a new campaign. “ I think it’s an interesting experiment and I’ll watch it with fascination. They’re trying to embrace the sort of greater goodness of milk. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
I don’t think “Milk Life” is going to get the dairy industry anywhere. The health fad of soy and almond milk is too strong for dairy milk to overcome. “Milk Life” just isn’t a unique enough campaign that will draw people in, especially adults. I think the focus on adults will be one of the key differences and deciding factors of whether this new campaign will be successful or not. It was easy to focus on children with “Got Milk?” because they were drinking it in the cafeterias at school with the celebrity milk moustaches staring down at them. Kids were watching the “Got Milk?” commercials on TV. However, “Milk Life” is just like every other advertisements adults see, and I do not think it will be effective.
Victor, L. (2014, Feb 24). The dairy industry is axing ‘got milk?’. Time. Retrieved from