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
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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