Between two Santas: Dairy Farmers of Canada running two campaigns for Christmas

Who: Dairy Farmers of Canada and DDB.

What: Two new distinctly different advertising efforts, both tied to the holidays.

  • The TV-centric “Santa Surprise” is the more sentimental of the two, focusing on the tradition of leaving out a glass of milk out for Santa Claus (an approach that was also recently used by Dairy Farmers of Ontario).
  • “Both Sides of the Glass” uses a more modern approach and is running online in an effort to connect with millennials.

When & Where: “Santa Surprise” broke Dec. 2 and will run on TV and online. The second concept, which debuted on Dec. 9, is digital-only, targeting more millennial consumers. Both are running through Dec. 29. Other elements include social, influencer and cinema.

Why: Two different campaigns for two different targets, it seems.

  • “Santa Surprise” should resonate most with older consumers who have, or had, young children that put out milk for Santa on Christmas Eve.
  • “Both Sides of the Glass” continues DFC’s year-long goal to dispel millennial misconceptions about milk. That effort started early this year with humour, went to a more earnest cinematic video effort about innovation in the summer, and is returning to humour.

How: “Santa Surprise” features real kids sneaking down to catch Santa Claus enjoying his glass of milk. Hidden cameras capture the pure expressions of amazement and joy at actually seeing Saint Nick. “In showing this moment with Santa, we’re linking the tradition of a glass of milk for Santa with our producers’ traditions of providing high-quality dairy to Canadian families all year long,” said Pamela Nalewajek, DFC vice-president, marketing.

In “Both Sides of the Glass,” we see Santa in a very different light. He’s a chatty, slightly oblivious interviewer (he comes across as a slightly jollier, less acerbic version of Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns character), talking to real dairy farmers about their respective career similarities—the farmers provide honest and informative explanations about their work, with Santa providing a humorous response.

There are a series of executions in English and French, ranging from 30-seconds to 6-second pre-rolls. “We use a light comedic tone to convey relevant messaging about innovation, animal health, milk quality and the dedication of Canadian dairy farmers in a way that will resonate with millennials,” said Nalewajek.

Quote: “The Santa milk moment is a special one, however it was time for it to be presented in a new way—a real way,” said Brent Choi, CEO and CCO, DDB Canada. “The hero film does a great job connecting viewers emotionally, while the content films educate viewers via an odd, humorous pairing of Santa Claus with real farmers.”

David Brown