Milk. It’s in every fridge, every household and every grocery store. Schoolchildren drink it at lunch. It seems like the most common drink in the United States, save perhaps water. This, however, wasn’t always the case.
In 1993, milk consumption was at a 20-year low, and this figure was projected to continue its downward trend for the foreseeable future. The milk industry was in dire straits when they finally resolved to call in several influential ad agencies in an attempt to rebrand milk. This resulted in perhaps the most famous campaign in history.
These words have echoed throughout our cultural consciousness for two decades now. Research indicates that this has become the most remembered tagline in the history of beverage advertising, with awareness over 90% nationally.
The campaign, known for its portraits of celebrities and athletes bearing the famous milk mustache, has proved to be immensely popular and long lived. It was first launched in October 1993 with the initial objective of boosting milk consumption in California. However, the campaign’s success soon took it national.
The campaign’s first TV spot featured a history buff eating a gooey peanut butter sandwich while surrounded by his collection of Alexander Hamilton memorabilia. He’s given the opportunity to win $10,000 on a radio trivia contest by answering the question “who shot Alexander Hamilton?” He only manages to croak “Awooon Buuuh!” as he frets over his empty milk carton. This classic ad directed by Michael Bay was incredibly popular and paved the way for the campaign’s national success.
Not only has the Got Milk? campaign been a national success for milk producers and proponents of a healthy diet, but it’s also served as the inspiration for a host of other campaigns for a wide variety of things, including churches, hotels and wines. It’s served as a perfect example of a campaign that has stood the test of time while maintaining its original identity and has never stopped performing its intended function admirably. In this sense, Got Milk is one of, if not the most effective campaigns of all time.