Milk's Got A New Tagline

A longstanding advertising tagline evidently has begun to turn. “Got Milk” is being replaced nationally by “Milk Life,” which illustrates “what 8 grams of protein look like when you’re getting the most out of yourself, and out of life.” 

It looks like controlled chaos in the first execution — vortexes of white liquid in the wake of a young kid and his mom running for a soccer ball, a young lady being pulled by a pack of large dogs she’s walking, a kid juking his dad with a layup move and a girl playing lead guitar in an outside-the-garage band.

There’s also a print component to the campaign.

“One ad shows a little girl jumping into the pool without any protective gear,” writes CNN Money’s Parija Kavilanz. “Milk gives her the ‘wings’ (and, presumably, the confidence) necessary to make the jump.”



“All the ads will use special effects to show the energy you get from milk,” Lowe Campbell Ewald president Sal Taibi says. “It could be through wings, a parachute or even propellers.”

The “Got Milk” campaign created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board in 1993 will still be used by that organization but the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), which itself has used “Got Milk” since 1995, is putting its $50 million behind the new effort created by Lowe Campbell Ewald.

Julia Kadison, interim CEO of MilkPEP, says the new campaign “aims to get the attention of consumers again,” writes USA Today Network’s Jessica Durando.

“The milk industry has had a tough bill over the last few years. Consumers seem to be forgetting about milk,” says Kadison. “They needed to be educated or reminded of the nutritional value of milk.”

“Declining milk sales in recent decades have been attributed to a drop in daily consumption, with Americans drinking less of it at lunch and dinner,” writes Bloomberg Businessweek’s Vanessa Wong. “At the same time, people are drinking more plant-based alternatives such as almond, soy, and rice milk.”

Wong links to a PDF of a 2013 USDA study study titled “Why Are Americans Consuming Less Fluid Milk? A Look at Generational Differences in Intake Frequency” that suggests that “the population’s average level of consumption of fluid milk may continue to decline” as the population ages.

That’s presumably why MilkPEP is evidently emphasizing the nutritional value to generations that are “much more likely to ‘focus on healthiness,’” as a study of Millennials and Gen X by Brand Amplitude found.

“The campaign will push milk’s protein content, a nutrient MilkPEP … says Americans are trying to increase in their diets,” reports Farm Futures. “And, even though milk is found in most homes in the United States, MilkPEP adds that many Americans don’t realize its nutritional contributions.”

That is a different vibe than we’ve got from “Got Milk,” with its feel-good humor and celebrity milk mustaches, to be sure.

Durando provides a link to first “Got Milk” spot in which the young curator of a collection of memorabilia about the Hamilton-Burr duel is unable to answer a radio announcer’s $10,000 question, “who shot Alexander Hamilton” because … oh, just go watch it. Time has a collection of the “Best of Got Milk?” here.

Meanwhile, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports that Kellogg is “planning a new ‘masterbrand’ campaign that will include elements of plugging milk and cereal together as a combination that ‘provides a very, very strong protein benefit,’” as Michael Allen, Kellogg’s president for its U.S. Morning Foods division, revealed at a Consumer Analyst Group of New York meeting last week. “For its part, MilkPEP plans to focus on milk from a glass, which it says accounts for 57% of volume,” Schultz reports.

“Milk is not a very high-interest item in people’s lives. It’s a staple,” Goodby, Silverstein co-chairman Jeff Goodly tellsTime’s Victor Luckerson. “We discovered there was a certain kind of irreplaceability to milk that I think is what made the campaign work. We did a focus group where a woman said, ‘The only time I notice milk is when I run out of it.’”

“‘I’m not disappointed,’ he says of MilkPEP’s shift in tactics,” writes Luckerson. 

“I think it’s an interesting experiment and I’ll watch it with fascination,” Goodby continues. “They’re trying to embrace the sort of greater goodness of milk. There’s nothing wrong with that.” Goodby also points out that the slogan is in our heads and “that’s really irreplaceable when it comes to advertising.” 

Whatever its other merits may turn out to be, “Milk Life” isn’t likely to nudge it out anytime soon.

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