The California Milk Processor Board recently rolled out a new ad in which three children commiserate about the challenges of adolescence over cold glasses of milk. The spot marks a strategic shift away from the instantly-recognizable and universally lauded “Got Milk?” ads, though the iconic phrase still shows up as the tagline.
A relevant and accessible narrative? Check. Generating meaning and emotion? You bet. Creating a single-minded branding moment? Most definitely. By building a believable and relatable story (what kid doesn’t think their parent’s job is boring?), touching a nostalgic nerve for the simpler problems of middle-school and leveraging the valuable brand asset of “Got Milk?,” the ad hits the trifecta for successful advertising.
Building on the strength of the creative, the ad also subtly shifts the brand’s messaging to adopt a more positive and inclusive tone. The original “Got Milk?” spots were inherently centered on a lack or a fear of missing out. Nobody wanted their answer to the titular question to be “no.” The new campaign instead places the focus on the communal and social elements of the product. It marks a natural, logical step in the overarching brand narrative. Rather than simply inducing people to purchase milk, by means FOMO or other, this ad highlights the comfort of knocking back a cold glass of milk. There is no need to directly answer that classic question anymore. Of course you have milk. Now, let’s talk.
Taylor Smith is a Research Analyst at Ameritest and has been drinking milk since 1993.