Calif. Milk Board’s Cheese Whizzes to Deutsch

L.A. Office Beats McCann, Goodby for $20-25 Mil. Account
LOS ANGELES–The California Milk Processor Board has tapped Deutsch/LA to handle the creative portion of its estimated $20-25 million cheese account.
The agency, located in Marina del Rey, Calif., was selected following a review of California shops, including McCann-Erickson/A&L, the San Francisco incumbent, which will keep media planning and buying chores.
Another contender, said sources, was Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, which handles the board’s milk account. The review was conducted by Select Resources International, Los Angeles.
“We’ve been doing cheesy ads for years, so it only seemed logical to go for California cheese,” joked executive vice president/creative director Eric Hirshberg. “Seriously, we see this as an opportunity to do work that not only moves the needle, but also is something that people will talk about.”
“The strategic shift is from awareness-building to preference-building,” added agency executive vice president/general manager Mike Sheldon.
Michael Freeman, director of advertising services for the South San Francisco-based board, praised Deutsch executives as “smart marketing guys” who demonstrated an understanding of the business. “We were impressed with the total package,” Freeman said. “They showed teamwork.”
Freeman said the review was not a reflection of any disappointment with McCann, which handled the creative for five years. The agency’s popular “It’s the cheese” slogan will continue to be used, along with the Real California Cheese logo, Freeman said.
“We asked ourselves, ‘How can this campaign evolve?’ People know about the campaign and like it. We now want to make people’s preference [be] for cheese carrying the [California] seal,” Freeman said.
Deutsch will create a TV, outdoor and online campaign. Ads will break in California during the Olympic Games this summer.