The sequel to Got Milk?: White Gold

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brooke_shields_milkWhen it comes to browsing Annual Awards books, I used to be as prolific as the creative guys. One Show and D&AD Annual were the books I used to browse through regularly when growing up in Advertising. I used to be fascinated by the work done by Fallon McElligot (now simply Fallon) and Goodby Silverstein & Partners. These two agencies used to have the maximum number of entries in the index page. I am talking about the early ’90s here – so that you know the kind of dinosaur I am.


Among the campaigns I loved of GSP was the legendary ‘Got Milk?’ campaign. I also read a case study of sorts in the book ‘Truth, Lies and Advertising‘ by Jon Steel, who was a planner at GSP. This book, by the way, is one of my all-time favourite business books. The strategy development of the Got Milk? campaign makes fascinating reading. Even prior to this campaign, viewers were exposed to communication selling the generic benefits of milk. But they were typically messages saying ‘milk is good’ packaged with smiley, happy people. Post campaign results showed that while consumers agreed with the message, it did nothing to increase sales. Enter GSP. They conducted a lot of research – the most interesting one of them was to ask people to go without milk for one week and record how they feel. Out of that research emerged the insight that milk is a great companion for snacks, including cookies and the midnight snack.

The hallmark of the creative execution was the impish ‘Got Milk?’ question and the milk mustache. The campaign was part of consumer culture and many celebs featured in some classic Got Milk? ads. My favourite among the TVCs was the Aaron Burr one.

Anyway, I am digressing. Now comes the new campaign to promote Milk, again from the same GSP stable. At first view, I did not ‘get it’. The idea is to use music to appeal to the youth. The effort comprises of a YouTube channel, a website, a Facebook page and a few music videos. From the website, I downloaded the album, ‘The best I can give is 2%’, created by ‘White Gold and the Calcium Twins’. Then the whole thing dawned on me (I am getting old). It is all explained in the YouTube channel:

Guitar geniuses like White Gold aren’t just born. They’re honed. Crafted. Perfected.
Age: 37

One day the lone desperado, White Gold(sm) met musical phenoms Skimberly and Wholena, now known across the world as “The Calcium Twins(sm).” The twins’ unrivaled musical talent, matched only by their bewitching good looks, catapulted White Gold’s(sm) unique sound to an unparalleled new level. Together, they released “Ends, Split Ends.” They began selling out theaters, and their infectious single “The Milkionaire” began to snowball.

White Gold and the Calcium Twins(sm) latest and most anticipated album “The Best I Can Give Is 2%(sm)” finally arrives this spring. The album will contain five new tracks and will be available on iTunes and

Apart from the muisc videos, there are several short films (e.g Milk Viper) posted on YouTube and they all end with ‘Got Milk?’. I don’t know what this will do to milk sales in the US, but judging by the responses to the videos (360,000+ views!), it seems to be creating a buzz.

And oh, a minor quibble: just like White Gold, our own ‘Think Hatke’ from Virgin also has a You Tube channel, Facebook page and all the other mandatories of Web 2.0 nowadays. But both the Facebook and Orkut links are down (Twitter works). This is like having a blank screen on the TV when your brand’s TVC is running.

Anyway, the White Gold initiative embodies the shape advertising is increasingly beginning to take: create likability through subtly branded entertainment.

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