Remember when you took the first bite of that rich, face-melting curry, and boy was it delicious—but pretty please, would somebody hurry up and get you a glass of milk, stat?
It's a familiar moment for anyone who likes spicy food, and it's perfectly captured in Goodby Silverstein & Partners' new "Got Milk?" advertising for the California Milk Processor Board. It's part of a campaign, "Food Loves Milk," that looks beyond what you'd stereotypically eat with milk—no offense, cookies—to sell consumers on the merits of other pairings.
One TV commercial focuses on sweets—cupcakes, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, s'mores—and features a special soundtrack (more on that below). A second spot features spicy foods—hot sausages, enchiladas, chili. Both are amusingly hypnotic, serving up a kaleidoscopic take on food porn that rivals that of genre leaders Lurpak and Carte Noir. And both end at exactly the right time—focusing for just a beat on actors whose faces say it all.
There are accompanying print and out-of-home ads that emphasize sweet and spicy themes, as well online banners that feature less common foods—like peanut-butter-and-bacon sandwiches (aimed at the "late night experiment" set, also known as people who have the munchies, or have been out drinking too long and are eating whatever's left in the fridge). For brunch-goers, the Internet ads recommend spicy avocado toast—though let's be honest, you're probably going to have a Bloody Mary with that.
(Story continues below.)
The marketer is also partnering with California Sunday Magazine to feature the likes of Elizabeth Binder, of Top Chef fame, and the chefs behind Señor Sisig, a popular Filipino food truck in San Francisco, weighing in on new milk pairings. A deal with Bon Apetit will also see three chefs known for sweet, spicy and savory foods producing social media content on the topic, including input from a range of food personalities and laypeople.
Agency Grupo Gallego will also launch materials under the campaign, targeting Hispanic consumers. And GS&P is launching a new version of gotmilk.com in line with the strategy. (And for those who mistakenly thought "Got Milk?" was deep-sixed last year, let's clarify: It's no longer being used nationally by the Milk Processor Education Program—aka, MilkPEP—it is still very much alive in California, where it originated with the California Milk Processor Board.)
AdFreak caught up with the GS&P's Kate Catalinac, creative director on the campaign, to get more of the backstory.
AdFreak: Why focus on which food pairings go best with milk?
Kate Catalinac: It's a challenging time for dairy milk. It's hard for good old-fashioned milk to compete with crazy fizzy sodas and neon-colored sports drinks. That is, until you get out a plate of cookies. You simply can't find a better beverage to pair with your favorite sweet foods than a tall, frosty glass of milk. Nor can you find a better BFF for spicy curry or a lineup of enchiladas, especially if you're under 21.
Together with Grupo Gallegos, we decided to focus on food pairings because of the undeniable fact that milk makes food taste better. It's a pure, simple, wonderful companion to your favorite foods. Hair, nails, teeth, bones and science agree.
Our "Food Loves Milk" campaign is designed to make mouths water and inspire instant milk cravings. One TV spot celebrates sweet foods and the other features spicy and savory foods. The TV campaign that will follow from Grupo Gallegos, as well as our print and out-of-home work, will all be extremely difficult to watch without getting very hungry and thirsty.
Is partnering with chefs intended to bring third-party authority to the message you're trying to send? What else are you hoping it accomplishes?
Yes, indeed, we intend to bring some authority to the pairings we're suggesting. It's one thing to remind people that cookies and milk are fabulous together, but when we're convincing people to push their palates and try peanut butter, chili, lime and honey toast with milk, we needed some backup.
How did the two magazine partnerships come about, and how will they help in spreading a believable message?
Grupo Gallegos and GS&P wanted to make sure we were covering classic, favorite pairings as well as foods on the cutting edge of haute cuisine. Otherwise, how could we truly convince people that milk teams up well with whatever is happening in the ever-changing California food scene?
The magazine partnerships give us the chance to hear about new milk pairings from influential chefs who represent different food movements. This will help us prove that there will always be a place for milk no matter what's on the table.
We'll also have the chance to nod to the scientific reasons why sweet, spicy and savory foods pair so well with milk. These flavor profiles will feature in our stunning print and out-of-home work that is launching soon.
Tell us more about the new gotmilk.com.
Since our new campaign is all about making mouths water, we decided that our site needed to be a lot more dynamic and a lot more delicious. We switched to more appetizing colors, a lot more movement, and a modular approach to content that allows us to update the site easily as we unearth more and more recipes for dishes that pair perfectly with milk.
How did you produce the ads?
All of the food elements in our television, print and out of home executions were shot for real, to make them look as tempting as possible.
What's notable about the soundtrack for the commercial on sweet foods?
We made the TV campaign in New Zealand with Kiwi director Joel Kefali. [Editor's note: Catalinac is also a New Zealander.] For the "Sweet" commercial, we needed a special and charming musical track. And who better to turn to than everyone's favorite Fourth Most Popular Non-Australian Guitar-Based Digi-Bongo A-Capella-Rap-Funk-Comedy Folk Duo From New Zealand, Flight of the Conchords?
Our line producer, Amber Easby, knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy, because there aren't actually that many guys in New Zealand, and before we knew it, we got word that the Grammy-winning guys from Flight of the Conchords loved the creative and gave us their blessing to use their track "Foux Du Fafa" as our soundtrack. It was the first time they have ever allowed one of their songs to be used in a commercial, which made the deal that much more delicious.