Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Mondelez spread the magic of milk and cookies

Who: Dairy Farmers of Ontario and No Fixed Address for creative and media, with Sparks Productions, School Editing, Alter Ego, and Imprint Music. There are also a handful of key brand partners: Mondelez, Agropur, Lactalis, Walmart, Longos and Sobeys.

What: A fundraising campaign that will see at least $500,000 donated to Ontario children’s hospitals. The campaign is built around the timeless connection between milk, cookies and Christmas.

When & Where: The effort launched Nov. 19. Fundraising will run through Dec. 28, with creative running on TV, cinema, digital, social and PR until Dec. 25.

Why: Cookies and milk are as much a part of the Christmas tradition for children as Santa Claus himself—a great fit for Dairy Farmers and the maker of Oreo cookies. This year, some of the magic associated with milk and cookies will go to children’s hospitals in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and London. “Every year, hundreds of children across Ontario spend the holidays in the hospital. Donations help fund activities and comfort items that make that time in the hospital feel just a bit more like home,” said Lori Davison, vice-president, brand strategy and communications, SickKids Foundation, in Toronto.

How: The creative idea at the heart of the communications strategy is “small hearts believe big,” with the TV ad showing young children who have put out their milk and cookies for Santa, but are too excited to sleep. “The anticipation of Christmas Eve is a uniting moment for all children, including those who may not be spending it at home this year,” said Dave Federico, chief creative officer at No Fixed Address. “Through this campaign we looked to celebrate the boundless belief of all small hearts that night, including the time-honoured tradition of putting out your milk and cookies for Santa.”

The fundraising: A portion of proceeds from all milk and Oreo sales at select retailers will go to the hospitals. People can also share “what they think Santa’s perfect milk glass would include” on Instagram using the hashtag #SmallHeartsBelieveBig, and DFO will donate $1 to SickKids—up to $20,000—for every idea shared.

And we quote: “The ritual of putting out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve is a time-honoured ritual that shows kids’ belief in Santa. We want all families to be able to embrace the magic in this tradition wherever they may be celebrating.” —Sean Bredt, DFO’s chief marketing and business development officer.

David Brown