APG-U.S. Account Planning Awards: Cueing Into Kids

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Client: Dairy Management
Children who stopped drinking milk turned out years later not to serve it to their own kids.
This is the story of a new twist on a well-known campaign. While the original “Got Milk?” campaign was based on an insight about people’s relationship with milk, the insight here was more about kids’ logic and how kids relate to communication. This affected both media and creative strategies; it led to a campaign that kids were invited to write themselves.
In August 1997 Dairy Management asked GS&P to develop “Got Milk?” advertising for kids. A segmentation study had highlighted that 6-11-year-olds were an important milk target, but if they abandoned milk, they were unlikely to serve it to their own kids when they become parents. In order to protect future milk drinkers, we had to influence kids today. Ultimately, we hoped to persuade kids to continue drinking milk.
Exploratory research revealed some important truths. First, “kids aged 6-11” is not one amorphous group. Psychologists describe how, at the lower end of the scale, children process
information in a very random and stimulus-driven manner. For example, when viewing advertising, young kids gravitate toward slapstick humor and bright colors. Older children, on the other hand, become more linear in their processing and gravitate to more sophisticated storytelling. Our research showed we were already reaching kids who were at the older, linear stage through adult “Got Milk?” commercials. What we had to do was reach kids who were in the early stages of development.
Moreover, kids at this younger stage appeared not to be motivated by the adult “got milk?” concept. They loved the adult campaign and liked the idea of deprivation, but didn’t feel it like adults do. To them, the foods featured were not treats, as they were to adults, but foods they consumed every day–milk or no milk. So, influencing these kids meant using kid, not adult, logic.
“Kid’s Milk World” was based on the insight that we needed to create advertising using children’s logic in contrast to the linear approach of the adult “Got Milk?” campaign. The creatives, accustomed to producing ads that made sense, were now told to throw that away. The breakthrough? Asking kids to write “got milk?” stories.
The campaign is still based on deprivation, but in a way which only kids, not adults, can understand. In fact, the very scenes adults have difficulty understanding, kids gravitate toward.
Kids love the campaign, seeing it as different, weird and written by peers. It’s too early to know the effect this campaign will have on consumption, but it’s achieving its other objectives. First, it’s getting noticed. Our young authors appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on The Tonight Show. Quantitative research confirmed that the commercials cut through clutter: four-fifths of viewers recalled them. Second, they gained high levels of likability and were rated as cool and fun to watch.
Finally, when kids were asked in groups what their favorite advertising was, the common response was “The kids’ ‘Got Milk?’ ones.”
CLIENT: Dairy Management
Charles Powell, VP, Milk Marketing
Greg Rotunno, Man., Milk Marketing
Mary Pat Anders, Dir., Market Research
Jeffrey Manning, Exec. Dir. CMPB
AGENCY: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein, Co-Creative Dirs.
Blake Daley, Copywriter
Amy Nicholson, Art Dir.
Sue Smith, Planning Dir.
Hugh Derrick & Heidi Roberts, Account Dirs.
Jenny Leonetti, Account Man.
Anthony Rank, Author: “Lost Milk of Arabia”
William Kerr, Author: “Monster Trapping”
Victor Skidanenko, Author: “Once a Great Milk Cow”