More Animals, Plus Outtakes, for California Cheese

To keep its 2-year-old cheese campaign fresh, the California Milk Advisory Board is trotting out more farm animals to join the talking cows and adding a new wrinkle to its media strategy.

Three 30-second TV spots from Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., break this week. Two of them feature a chicken and a pig, voiced by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait and Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), horning in on the cows’ turf. The third shows two bulls lusting after a cow who is “showering” in a sprinkler as Styx’s ’70s hit “Lady” is heard.

In addition, the agency produced three 10-second versions featuring comical “outtakes” from the longer spots. The shorts will run in the time slots that identify the sponsors at the beginning and end of programs.

The buying and planning agency, McCann-Erickson, negotiated for the 10-second spots as a value-added buy, a Deutsch representative said. Deutsch created the mini-spots to add a new twist to the $15 million campaign, which the shop has handled for nearly two years.

“We wanted to take the campaign to a different level,” said svp, creative director Chris Ribeiro, who developed the work with svp, creative director Karen Costello. “We have been looking at the lives of these happy cows and came up with other barnyard animals who place them on a pedestal.”

The tag remains, “Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California.”

In one spot, two cows lounging in a pasture are pestered by a manic chicken who wants to know the secret to their mellow attitude. Similarly, the talking pig accosts the cows and insists that he, too, is a cow. In both spots, the cows are decidedly unimpressed.

Ribeiro said the outtakes idea was inspired by those at the end of animated feature films like Monsters Inc. “Those 10-second spots usually just have a logo and voice saying, ‘Brought to you by …’ ” he said. “But when we were told we could do what ever we wanted with that time, we decided to have some fun with it.”