Ad of the Day: Got Milk?

Iconic campaign pokes fun at 'imitation milk' in Goodby's faux-game-show spots

Got real milk?

The California Milk Processor Board (CMBP) is picking on plant-based alternatives to milk in Goodby, Silverstein & Partners' latest work under its classic tagline for the dairy association.

The deliberately cheesy ads, an extension of the recent "Real milk comes from cows" campaign, are done in the style of a mock 1960s variety game show. The theme: funny-sounding ingredients found in what the campaign calls "imitation milk." In the case of the TV spots, that means soy-based. A microsite also knocks coconut- and almond-based alternatives. The contestants are a sharp teenage girl who can rattle off the drink's contents without really knowing what they are and a clueless teenage boy who is totally lost beyond water. The host, who sports an aesthetic reminiscent of Mad Men's Harry Crane, is a total ham. The additive carrageenan? "Used to date her in college," he grins. "I'm joking, I'm teasing." The campaign's headline: "Real. Simple."

The ads are fun. They're also kind of smug, with a knack of sophistry and fear mongering. The implication that having more ingredients is necessarily worse doesn't quite hold up on its face—riboflavin, zinc gluconate and calcium carbonate, for example, are popular dietary supplements. The aforementioned carrageenan, meanwhile, may be murkier. It's a common seaweed-based gelatin alternate that's raised various health concerns over the years, including that it's a possible carcinogen (what isn't?) but is generally considered safe. Overall, the campaign feels a bit like PETA-baiting. Vegan stuff is easy to ridicule, and, as the brand well knows, sowing controversy generally makes for more—if not necessarily better—exposure.

Does soy milk cause cancer? Does cow's milk? Who knows. At least fake milk's a better target for ridicule than the brand's last one.


Client: California Milk Processor Board (Got Milk?)

Executive Director: W. Stephen James

Co-Chairman, Partner: Jeff Goodby

Executive Creative Director, Associate Partner: Christian Haas

Copywriter: Carter Debski

Art Director: Maggie Bradshaw

Director of Broadcast Production, Associate Partner: Cindy Fluitt

Broadcast Producer: Leila Seghrouchni

Executive Interactive Producer: Alex Burke

Interactive Producer: Maribel Arellano

Creative Technologist: Mike Newell

Managing Partner: Robert Riccardi

Account Director: Kelly Johnson

Account Manager: Krista Kelly

Account Manager: Meredith Williams

Assistant Account Manager: Aimee O’Rourke

Operations Manager: Mallory Frye

Group Brand Strategy Director: Bonnie Wan

Senior Brand Strategist: Hennrietta Probert

Brand Strategist: Alina Schabashevich

Director of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen

Senior Communication Strategist: Nancy Jeng

Communication Strategist: Krista Miyashiro

Junior Communication Strategist: Fiona Su

Business Affairs Associate Manager: Heidi Killeen

Broadcast Production Credits:

Production Company: O-Positive

Director: David Shane

Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella

Editorial Company: Hutch Co.

Editors: James Hutchins (TV), Joaquin Machado (Web)

Executive Producer: Jane Hutchins

Producer: Jane Hutchins

VFX (TV spots): Jon Howard

Motion Graphics (end tag): HiFi 3D

From HiFi 3D: Szymon Weglarski, Jonathan Dorfman

Colorist, Finishing: Steffan Sonnenfeld

Music Company.: Beacon Street

Music: Original Music

Recording Studio: Lime Studios

Audio Engineer: Loren Silber

Interactive Production Credits:

Web Production Company: SilkTricky

Creative Director: Chris Lund

Creative Technology Director: Noah Costello

Producer: Lynn Lund

Flash, HTML Developers: Bart Millar, James Acres

Visual Effects: HiFi 3D

From HiFi 3D: Szymon Weglarski, Jonathan Dorfman

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