Got Milk?

Picture of Tom Dougherty

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

7 August 2020

Got Milk is back, but without its main appeal

Remember the Got Milk campaign from the 90s? How could you forget? Because in what became a satire of lazy marketing, businesses around the country kept retrofitting it for their own products.

Got beef? Got chairs? Got chandeliers? It didn’t matter. So many thought it was the Holy Grail of easy marketing that would capture attention. It was ridiculous and, thankfully, has gone out of fashion.

The problem the mimics faced was that the phrase, Got Milk?, wasn’t the key to its success. It was the milk mustaches of mostly celebrities that made it memorable. The mustaches were silly, and looked sillier (and somehow more human) on famous faces. Audiences got it. When you drink milk, you get that mustache.

We all could relate.

Got (insert product)? Nothing. Because there wasn’t the equivalent of the milk mustache.

Now, the Got Milk campaign is back. Well, sort of. The Milk Processor Education Board (MilkPEP) is returning to that catchphrase in a new series of spots, highlighting young people interacting with milk.

“But the newest version of the Got Milk campaign fails to be memorable because it lacks an unusual element, like the mustache.”

Newest Got Milk campaign just more of the same

The spots are designed to create a social media splash, which is fine in of itself. But the newest version of the Got Milk campaign fails to be memorable because it lacks an unusual element, like the mustache.

Got MilkNow, I’m not saying they should bring the ‘stache back. It’s just that repackaging Got Milk for 2020 isn’t so easy.

The campaign returns in this form because, as it turns out, milk is making a comeback while we remain in quarantine. Sales are up 13.2% in July after a decade of declining revenue. Stealing Share outlined that trend in a study of breakfast cereal. The decline of that industry is partly attributed to consumers drinking less milk.

So, I understand MilkPEP taking advantage. But these customer-produced ads are starting to look all alike. The new Got Milk campaign isn’t any different.

And it certainly misses the point of the success of Got Milk 20-some years ago. Now, the milk industry doesn’t even understand that classic campaign’s original appeal. Got what?

See more posts in the following related categories: beverage marketing


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