NEW YORK The California Milk Processor Board, the originator of the iconic "Got milk?" ad campaign, is changing with the times.
The advertiser is making its first foray into gaming with an advergame, "Thrashteurizer," available for download starting today. The game is part of the "White Gold" campaign created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners a year ago with a series of music videos from a so-lame-it's-cool fake rock band. The game communicates the key health benefits of drinking milk while challenging users to accumulate points by playing in tune with White Gold.
The move is the latest shift from traditional media for CMPB, which has gone from spending 60 percent of its budget on TV spots three years ago to about 35 percent today. It rolled out "White Gold," for instance, on MySpace, and TV has played a support role. According to Nielsen, the CMPB spent $3 million on media in 2008.
"We're going [online] where we believe our eyeballs and hearts and minds are," said Steve James, executive director of CMPB.
"Thrashteurizer" will be available from the White Gold Facebook page and by texting "Thrash" via mobile phone. (Watkins Mobile did the cell piece.) It will be promoted through Facebook ads, milk-carton messaging and spots on in-school TV programming on Channel One in California.
James said CMPB decided to make its first gaming foray and to add a mobile component after research showed games to be the best way to reach its teen audience, and that four out of five teens have a cell phone. The hope is the cool factor of White Gold, along with the interactivity of the game, will rub off on perceptions of drinking milk.
"The challenge for us is to find [teens] and once we find them [to] get their attention and amuse them in a way that will rise above the vast Internet clutter," said James.
That will be a challenge: Facebook has more than 52,000 applications, including hundreds of games. Similarly, the iPhone offers hundreds of gaming applications.
The CMPB operates separately from the national Milk Board. CMPB licensed "Got milk?" which it began running in 1993, for use in national campaigns.