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Milk

Yasmeen Bleeth with Got Milk MustacheGot Milk? - In 1993, the California Milk Board hired Goodby Silverstein & Partners to created a "Got Milk? campaign to promote the tasty goodness of cow's milk. The first ad spot entitled "Aaron Burrr" showcases a geeky historian type who is surrounded by memorabilia about the famous American, Aaron Burr. As the man stuffs a sticky peanut butter sandwich into his mouth, a radio station calls and asks the trivia question. "Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel."  The Answer, of course,  is "Aaron Burr," but the history buff's mouth is filled with sticky peanut butter and he can only mumble the answer. In desperation, the man reaches for a container of milk, but there is none left. Unable to give an intelligible answer, the man loses the $10,000 prize. ("I'm sorry, maybe next time") The commercial ends with the words "Got Milk?"

After a series of ads with similar scenarios, the ad campaign switched to its next phase of print advertisements that depicted popular movie, TV, sports, music and supermodel celebrities and fictional characters like Garfield the Cat and Batman wearing the tell-tail trace of a white mustache on their upper lip. At first, the tagline for these print ads was "Where's your Mustache?" bit they later reverted to the original slogan "Got Milk?" 

In 1995, Mattel toys created a special edition "Got Milk? Barbie" in conjunction with the California Milk Processor Board that featured a Barbie at a kitchen table holding a carton inscribed "Got Milk?" In 2002, a similar Barbie dressed in overalls with Holstein cows spots was merchandise.

In 1999, the "Got Milk?" campaign recruited the Marvel Superheroes (Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Spider-Man) in a live-action commercials that featured "The Avengers" interrogating a Milkman. The spot ends with a photograph of The Avengers with the Milkman and a headline that reads "New Superhero!"

The National Milk Mustache "got milk?"® Campaign was jointly funded by America's milk processors and dairy farmers: the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) in Washington, D.C., and Dairy Management Inc., Chicago.

On February 24, 2004, however, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision requiring "all" dairy farmers to contribute to the successful "Got Milk?" successful campaign. The court  ruled that the agricultural commodity promotion program, known as a "checkoff," violated the dairy farmers' First Amendment rights of free speech.

TRIVIA NOTE: According to the American Dietetic Association, approximately 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant – an inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products.

About 15 percent to 20 percent of U.S. whites are intolerant of the milk sugar lactose, while some 95 percent of Asian Americans, about 70 percent of African Americans and Native Americans, and more than 50 percent of Mexican-Americans cannot digest it. Many get quite sick from it. Nature starts to remove the enzymes that digest milk sugar once we have passed the age of weaning.

In lieu of such lactose-intolerant statistics, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) promoted the advantages of beer over milk in a "Got Beer? campaign in March of 2000. The campaign was quickly pulled after criticism from groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). In 2002, PETA revived their "Got Beer?" campaign by placing advertisements in college campus newspapers that urged students to abandon dairy in favor of the brewery.


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