Deutsch/LA’s Cows Say Cheese

Deutsch/LA is launching new work for California cheese that features talking cows rather than the product itself.

The $17 million national effort, created for the California Milk Advisory Board, is being unveiled this week with two comical 30-second TV spots. A third spot will launch during the Super Bowl in January.

McCann-Erickson, San Fran cisco, handles media duties for the milk board.

“The thing that stood out most is we now have a campaign that focuses more on what’s in the cheese instead of the final product itself,” said Michael Freeman, director of advertising services for the San Francisco-based client.

The tongue-in-cheek gist of the ads is that cows like living in sunny California, and produce good cheese as a result. In one ad, an old cow shudders to think of the snowy land where she grew up. The second shows a group of cows singing in the sunshine.

“There really was no rational reason for people to believe that California cheese was any better than any other cheese. So we had to create one,” said one Deutsch creative.

“We’ve never used a rational appeal. We’ve never made compe titive claims,” added Freeman. “We’re just trying to create an affinity for the brand that will ultimately drive preference for it.”

Each of the three ads uses the lines “Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California.”

At the end of the commercials, the “Real California cheese” icon appears pasted on a countryside billboard, along with the slogan “Real California cheese. It’s the cheese.”