WASHINGTON -- For more than 20 years, the "Got Milk?" campaign has put milk mustaches on athletes, celebrities and vending operators. Now, the Milk Processor Education Program, known as Milk PEP, is scrubbing its iconic ad tagline for the new "Milk Life" slogan.
The messaging transition, which commenced on Feb. 24, is part of a new national campaign that seeks to turn around the sluggish dairy milk category, according to Ad Age. The Got Milk? tagline has been used by the national milk industry since 1995, when the catchphrase was licensed from the California Milk Processor board, which began using it in 1993.
The state group will continue to use its "Got Milk?" slogan, created by ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. The national MilkPEP group, whose agency is Lowe Campbell Ewald (New York), is headed in a new direction to help improve milk sales, Ad Age noted.
U.S. sales of fluid milk products have been falling off for decades. Per-capita consumption declined 25% from 1975 to 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Euromonitor projects that milk sales will fall another 3% by 2018. MilkPEP interim chief executive Julia Kadison told Time magazine that milk's troubles are due to a variety of factors: long-term unemployment, a declining birth rate and competing with "imposter" dairy products like almond milk and soy milk.
Milk Life, which seeks to promote milk as fuel for an active lifestyle, was introduced to dairy industry stakeholders in early February at the International Dairy Foods Association 2014 forum in Palm Springs, CA. Milk Life TV and print ads push the "power of protein" during breakfast.
The new campaign will no longer employ celebrities and their milk mustaches, but rather focus on regular people. MilkPEP has also stopped sending milk posters to schools, instead focusing on convincing parents and other adults of the value of milk.
A second new campaign, "The Great American Milk Drive," addresses hunger in the United States and begins this month. It was created by Dairy Management Inc., the National Dairy Council, MilkPEP and hunger-relief charity Feeding America.
In 2006, the Got Milk? campaign started a program to build awareness of the market potential of milk in vending machines. Called Spotlight On, the program invited vending operators to share their success stories. Operators submitted their names for consideration, and dairy industry experts chose an operator each month. Tom Murn of Answer Vending Co. (Bellerose, NY), pictured here, was the first vending operator to sport the program's milk mustache.