'Got Milk' People Talk About Male Symptoms Of ... PMS


Forget Prozac -- milk is the real cure for PMS. Especially if you're a man. That's the basic message (minus the Prozac part) of a new summer campaign from the California Milk Processor Board. With the campaign, which starts Monday, the board is trying to boost sales of dairy milk to adult women by highlighting a benefit -- relief of PMS symptoms -- that doesn't usually spring to mind when one pours a glass.

The new effort, "Everything I Do Is Wrong," ostensibly appeals to the men who have to live with the women who have PMS. And in the creative, as well as grassroots events around the campaign, it's all about men who are grabbing up milk by the carton to bring home to their dragons, er, wives.

The campaign, via Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, is also something of a redux of a 2005 effort, "Milk to the Rescue," which also featured men buying lots of milk, desperate to get their wives into a better state of mind during that time of the month. But the new campaign offers a broader media palette, including a new microsite, billboards and wild postings.



The effort, touting the calcium in dairy milk as a way to reduce PMS symptoms by as much as 50%, shows men clenching cartons of milk with text like "I'm sorry I listened to what you said and NOT what you meant," and "I apologize for not reading between the RIGHT lines."

Steve James, executive director of the California Milk Processor Board, tells Marketing Daily that since the 2005 effort, the organization has been talking about the benefits of milk for PMS as messaging within a larger, more broad-based campaign, but that this is the first time since then that the PMS connection gets its own campaign.

"We had been off the air for a while, and quiet in the marketplace, so we wanted to come back with something that would get peoples' attention," he says. "We think this execution will do that, while providing pass-along value. Every time we have talked about how milk helps reduce the symptoms of PMS, we have seen both awareness and daily consumption of milk increase."

The campaign will also include activities with stunts, PMS-themed comedy shows and experiential booths throughout California. James says the stunts -- in L.A. and one in Sacramento -- mimic political rallies where men and couples will talk about PMS and carry signs that say thinks like "I'm sorry I read between the wrong lines," and "Let's both agree to disagree with me."

"This campaign is really a short-term effort," says James. "It sunsets at the end of August, so it's a really concentrated short-term campaign to remind people of this benefit, and in the fall we will do a much bigger campaign, and broader than this."

"Everything I Do Is Wrong" includes radio ads on National Public Radio, banner ads and social media elements on Facebook, Twitter and Pandora that drive traffic to the Got Milk microsite dedicated to the campaign, The new site has several interactive elements, humorous videos and content that can be shared on the user's personal Facebook and Twitter pages. There is, for example, a "Global PMS Level," an "Emergency Milk Locator," and a "Video Apology Enhancer," among other things.

"We think the humor creates the surprise and surprise is always good when you want people to be aware of the message and benefit," says James. "But it's also serious: 70% of relationships are affected by these symptoms and we think this is a lighthearted, good-natured way to take it away from a sensitive area and move it into a territory that men and women both like and relate to. We have heard women respond to this with comments like, 'I have got to send this poster to my husband.'"

2 comments about "'Got Milk' People Talk About Male Symptoms Of ... PMS ".
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  1. Linda Ziskind from Z2 Consulting, LLC, July 11, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.

    It's mindboggling that in 2011, these kinds of demeaning and misogynist ads are still being made. It's one thing to promote milk as a method of relief for the real and serious symptoms of PMS. It's quite another to do so by portraying PMS for laughs, and women who experience it as "dragons" and shrews. Mr. Greenberg, I think you owe women everywhere an apology for your use of the word "dragon" to describe women who suffer PMS, and I'd truly like to see Mr. James' research about "70% of relationships are affected by these symptoms" and his claim that being portrayed as an insufferable shrew is something that "women both like and relate to." Really!

  2. PMS Comfort from Professional Health Solutions LLC, January 25, 2012 at 1:34 p.m.

    There is no such thing as male PMS:
    though men are probably just as moody as women. Thank you, Linda, for speaking out for women and pointing out that PMS is real. And, the skinny on PMS and Milk:

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