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Silk Soymilk Lets Customers Do the Selling

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NEW YORK Silk Soymilk is fortunate enough to have grabbed a 70 percent share of soy milk drinkers -- now the brand is recruiting the rest of the population.

The beverage brand, which is high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, is letting its customers serve as advocates in its new ad campaign that debuted this week.

"Take a sip forward" TV and print ads, from Berlin Cameron, New York, feature real women telling their stories about the first time they tried Silk and how it helps them take small steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

The women chosen for the spots are not super health nuts, said Griffin Creech, co-creative director at Berlin Cameron. "It's honest. They are regular people who are clearly excited about the brand. They are saying, 'Why don't you give it a shot?'"

It's the first time we have featured real Silk drinkers, said Julie Reeves, brand manager for Silk, which launched in 1996. "What's unique about this campaign is that we are highlighting the personal journey to becoming a Silk consumer," she said.

The brand, which is operated by the Dean Foods' subsidiary WhiteWave Foods, is also launching a mini-site where women can tell their own personal stories about Silk. A longer format ad is being developed for online as well.

"The task at hand is household penetration, converting prospects and bringing people in that know in their hearts and minds that this is good for them, but haven't tried it yet," said Bill Grogan, president of Berlin Cameron, New York.

Last year, actress Alicia Silverstone promoted its "Green Cap" promotion that urged consumers to log on to the Silk Web site to submit code numbers found under the cap. The company committed to purchase more wind-generated power based on the number of codes submitted.

Silk spent $25 million-plus on media last year, up from $22 million in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.