by Mimi DelGizzi
David Bekham had one, as did Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Even Superman had one. The Olsen Twins sported two. Since 1994, celebrities have donned milk mustaches for the “Got Milk?” campaign, but after two decades, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) is retiring the slogan in favor of a new message. The new tagline for the calcium-rich drink is “Milk Life” and features everyday folks performing (almost) everyday tasks, but with more gusto.
Launched Feb 24th, the new campaign moves away from the celebrity-studded image “Got Milk?” had generated (over 300 different celebrity ads were created for the campaign). According to ad executives, the use of celebrities was meant to bring excitement to an otherwise “boring product.” In fact, according to a report put out by the USDA, Americans born in the 1990s are less likely to drink fluid milk with lunch or dinner compared to Americans born in decades prior. Unfortunately, oftentimes sodas and other sugar drinks take the place of milk on modern dinner tables.
Instead of trying to revitalize a low-interest item, then, the new “Milk Life” campaign aims to slingshot milk into a spot it has not been since its “Does Your Body Good” days: touting milk’s nutritional benefits, particularly the protein content in one glass of the stuff—about 8 grams. The new ads depict liquid milk powering consumers through a myriad of physical activities. One ad shows a child jumping off a diving board, wings of milk giving her the chutzpah to do so. Another ad depicts a young man breakdancing and swirling liquid milk in circles around his body. The ad reads, “What 8 grams of protein looks like when you’re breaking the laws of physics.”
In an article on NPR’s food blog, The Salt, the marketing director of MilkPEP, Victor Saborsy, explains that “you can read ‘Milk Life’ two ways”: urging consumers to milk life, enjoying it to the fullest, or encouraging them towards “living a milk life” by making milk a central part of a healthy diet.
At a time when dairy milk sales are contending with increasingly popular non-dairy alternatives like soy and almond milk, the new “Milk Life” campaign wants to make sure consumers still know that yes, milk (still) does the body good.
Michelina (Mimi) DelGizzi is a 2nd-year dual degree MS/MPH student and the current Co-Editor of The Friedman Sprout. To learn more about her, visit our Meet Our Writers page.