Two years ago, it was Avis car rental’s ground-breaking “We Try Harder” campaign line, killed at the ripe old age (for advertising campaign lines) of 50 because a new CMO wanted to mark her territory.
Now, the even more iconic “Got Milk?” campaign is headin’ for the last roundup. Not because of raw ego, like Avis’s slogan, but for legitimate, if misguided, marketing reasons.
A multilevel breakthrough
In 1993, “Got Milk?” was one of the first major ad campaigns created through account planning, a new (at the time) discipline combining elements of consumer research, marketing and creative strategy. After conducting focus-group research on which foods consumers most often enjoyed with milk, a Goodby, Silverstein & Partners account planner had the insight of asking respondents to avoid those specific combinations for a week, then focus-grouped them again. This time around, the consumers showed a tangible sense of emotional deprivation.
As a result of this finding, the agency went on to create a series of funny, memorable and effective commercials which showed what happens when people don’t have milk for their, say, milk-and-peanut-butter-sandwich fixes.
The campaign launched in California in 1993, got picked up nationally two years later, boosted milk sales dramatically, and became, in Advertising Age’s words, “one of the most recognizable and parodied phrases in advertising.” Also one of the most plagiarized.
The ‘E’ word
The national Milk Processor Education Program [MilkPEP], looking at changing breakfast habits and, according to Euromonitor International, a 1 percent drop in milk sales volume last year, decided to combat the problem with their middle name – Education. Doing so is one of the biggest mistakes an advertiser can make. Read more →