Milk is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. 95% of American households drink it, but that number is decreasing. There’s intense new competition, and customers have new habits. Milk must move from a necessity to a choice.
Milk has been fueling athletes for thousands of years. Supported by that truth, we went after a new enemy – sports drinks. Fundamentally, Milk is a performance beverage – it has more protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, D and B12, and builds stronger muscles than its competitors. Our goal is to show that to perform your best no matter the pursuit…”You’re Gonna Need Milk for That.”
To pack a punch, we built a team of amazing athletes with a genuine Milk connection. Ahead of the Olympics, this included awesome skateboarder Maurio McCoy, softball legend Cat Osterman, karate champ Ariel Torres, and Hannah Roberts, the BMX freestyler who knows no limits, showcasing how they fuel up on Milk.
To be credible we needed to do more than talk. We took Milk to the top of a 30-foot wall atop a 30-story building. Thus, The Wall was created – a social film featuring pro climber Kai Lightner, shot by Oscar-winning film director, pro mountaineer and photographer Jimmy Chin, highlighting how Milk can help athletes do incredible things.
The goal is to change shopping behavior. To do that we needed to change perception of the dairy aisle. So, we created a real-life training gym behind a supermarket dairy aisle for Olympians Kristin Armstrong and Ariel Torres. As shoppers reached for the Milk, we captured their reactions on a hidden camera, sharing them across our channels.
Knowing that we couldn’t compete with the media muscle of Gatorade, we decided to take a made-for-social approach when it came to reaching teens with our performance message. We assembled a collection of NFL superstars with real Milk stories and put them up against seemingly impossible challenges. We also created a dance challenge with JuJu Smith-Schuster, his French Bulldogs, and our Milk Characters.
We don’t have close to Apple-sized budgets, but in developing this campaign, we were inspired by their simple and highly visible marketing approach. We bought permanent OOH boards in our 17 key Milk markets to deliver provocative product claims and surrounded it with targeted paid social, programmatic, and influencer marketing. We used our Milk Characters to bring our claims to teens and tweens across media.
In our first year working with MilkPEP, we worked with 24 influencers in support of our Olympics campaign. We had some success but realized that to impact culture we needed to go a lot bigger. We went from dozens to hundreds. In addition, we decided to take a more curatorial and hands-off approach to authentically connect with moms.
In the world of sports, sponsorships are everything—but women only see 7% of the 30-billion-dollar athletic pool. Milk wanted to do something about that. With the NYC Marathon approaching, it seemed the perfect opportunity to make a difference. Most brands sponsor the race—we sponsored women runners, matching their entry fee with a donation to Girls on the Run and supporting them before, during, and after the race.
Gaming is sport. However, the gaming space is filled with sugary energy drinks. We set out to challenge their supremacy at the biggest streaming event for gamers — TwitchCon. We celebrated the performance, speed and endurance of gamers with a reaction time test that allowed us to find the fastest hands in a crowd of 30k people, fueled by Chocolate Milk. We supported our live event activation with social and influencer content.