Milk don't get no respect. The white stuff has had to pull out the stops to do battle for share of mind among younger folk versus an ever-expanding, Transformer-like array of bottled waters; snazzy, exotic-fruit infused vitamin spritzers; pomegranate whiz-bangs guaranteed to cure shingles and ennui; and just about anything with bubbles and sugar.
Such is the beverage battlefield that has compelled the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) to create a milk-drinking rock star -- White Gold, a flaxen-locked '70s-esque glam-rocker who has starred in social media and ad campaigns since March of last year. Now he's in a bona fide rock opera. "Tommy" it ain't, but then, Pete Townshend never destroyed a milk-filled guitar.
The 20-minute film starring, written, and produced by the fictive rock god has him going on a journey to retrieve from the evil Nasterious all of the milk the villain stole from Milkquarious, causing a shortage. Five 30-second television spots about the movie and the contest are running through year-end in California on youth-centric programming. The film will also be promoted on Channel One, the 12-minute news program that runs in schools.
The film -- which is at Milkquarious.com -- and the ad campaign promoting it are via CMPB's agency San Francisco-based Goodby Silverstein & Partners. The effort supports a California public-school competition dangling a $50,000 scholarship for the arts for a California school whose student or students create a video parody of the rock opera.
Steve James, executive director of the CMPB, says this will be the last White Gold effort by the board. Other efforts featuring the character included music video and documentary-type clips on WhiteGoldisWhiteGold.com about his milk-enhanced evolution from lackluster musician to star.
James tells Marketing Daily that the efforts have panned out. "We do six waves of testing during the year on perceptions about milk and consumption; we have found that not only are teens and parents aware of White Gold, but they are aware of the benefits of milk: the strong hair, skin and nails."
He says people who have seen the TV spots have shown a higher awareness of the benefits of milk than those who haven't, and there is a double-digit increase in milk-benefits awareness among those who have seen the ads and engaged online with digital components. "So we are finding that quality of engagement when it is digital and self-directed is very significant in delivering the message," says James.
"What we are hoping is that by engaging teenagers and moms online and on TV we can get them to have such a high-quality interaction with milk and White Gold that when they walk into a retail outlet, in the back of their minds will be White Gold's guitar riffs and how wonderful milk is," he says. "That's ultimately what we are hoping, and we have heard that anecdotally."