Cow Speaks Up for H-E-B’s MooTopia

DALLAS Rives Carlberg’s humorous TV spot for HE Butt Grocery Co. features a talking cow pitching the benefits of MooTopia, the chain’s new low-carb, lactose-free milk product, the agency said.

The 30-second spot, which broke Friday from the Houston independent, targets consumers looking for enhanced flavor and nutrition in their milk, as well as customers who may be lactose-intolerant, diabetic or on the Atkins diet.

The commercial, “Not Your Everyday Dairy Cow,” opens with a fat, happy cow grazing on a picturesque dairy farm. A voiceover says, “At H-E-B, we dreamed of a better milk, so we created MooTopia.” As the milk’s health benefits are being read, the cow’s body mass begins to shrink and bulk up on cue. Suddenly, the narrator stops, and the camera pans back to reveal another cow standing in front of a microphone. She then says, “Whoops, forgot lactose-free again. Sorry, guys. Can we pick it up from the slogan?” Someone yells, “Retake,” and the voiceover begins anew with, “Introducing H-E-B MooTopia. It’s real milk, only better.”

“Giving cows thoughts and expressions make them real,” said director Michael Killen of Pittsburgh production company Animal, which worked on the commercial. “We gave [the cows] a believable voice, which helps advertisers capture a message of importance and humor.”

The work will run in both English and Spanish in Texas cities such as Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Waco, Corpus Christi and The Valley, the agency said.

H-E-B uses Rives Carlberg and Dallas-based independent The Richards Group as its primary advertising agencies. The San Antonio-based grocery chain operates approximately 300 stores throughout Texas and Northern Mexico.

Campaign spending was undisclosed. H-E-B spent about $15 million on advertising in 2003 and approximately $10 million in the first seven months of this year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.