California Processors Vote to Continue ‘Got Milk?’

Get ready for at least three more years of “Got milk?”

That’s the word as 83 percent of California Milk Processor Board members voted by mail this month to continue their marketing program, featuring Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ famous “Got milk?” TV and outdoor campaign, now in its eighth year. Anita Santiago Advertising, Santa Monica, Calif., handles Hispanic ads.

The vote affects the two national milk boards—MilkPEP in Washington, D.C., which represents the processors, and Dairy Management Inc. in Chicago, which represents the producers—only insofar as they air Goodby’s ads nationally. In the event of a thumbs-down vote, they could continue to license the “Got milk?” tag for other marketing endeavors, including work from Bozell, New York, which handles the milk mustache campaign and some national TV. There is no indication that those groups are considering altering their overall marketing plans.

This is the fourth such renewal by CMPB members following a mandatory vote. The group spends $25-26 million annually on marketing in California.

CMPB executive director Jeff Manning said it indicates “people in the industry feel they’re getting a good return on investment.” Goodby co-chairman Jeff Goodby said the strategy will not change moving forward. In fact, one of the three original TV spots, “Baby & Cat,” has been re-released this month.

In the Hispanic work, Anita Santiago has focused on the use of milk in recipes for foods such as flan and rice pudding. The tag is, “Familia, amor y leche” (“Family, love and milk”). New work is due at the end of May.

From 1980 until 1993, when the CMPB was formed, California milk sales declined from 29 to 23 gallons per person per year. Sales have been flat since. “We basically stopped the hemorrhaging,” said Manning. Sales will not increase dramatically, he said, “until the milk processors come out with a wider variety of new packages, products and flavors.” Marketing to teens also remains a key challenge.