Pint-sized Duvernay-Tardif promotes Quebec milk producers’ sustainability efforts

Who: Les Producteurs de lait du Québec (PLQ), with lg2 for strategy and creative, Cinélande for production (Jean-François Asselin directing), Rodéo FX – Post 430, La Majeure and Circonflex for post-production, and Touché for media.

What: “Raising the Bar,” a playful Quebec campaign promoting the PLQ’s efforts around sustainability and carbon neutrality, featuring a pint-sized version of the Montreal-born football star and medical doctor Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (here with the word “Junior” appended to his name).

When & Where: The campaign launched today (Sept. 12), running through Oct. 16 using a 60-second broadcast spot complemented by four short TV/web videos, as well as out-of-home, digital and print media. Lg2 also revamped the website, with a new section called “Questions vaches“ (Very Dairy questions).

Why: The campaign is highlighting the PLQ’s environmentally friendly practices.

“This campaign strikes a balance between playfulness and the facts about social responsibility and sustainable development, but we don’t shy away from acknowledging that we still have a long way to go,” said lg2 partner and copywriter Guillaume Bergeron. “This establishes a connection with the consumer that goes far beyond the actual purchase: they’re not buying a glass of milk, they’re buying the process.”

How: The campaign features Duvernay-Tardif, who’s described as “the spokesperson for the milk of future generations,” as a full-bearded young boy, chatting with some of the province’s more than 4,600 dairy farmers (one of whom he calls “old man,” leading him to respond that he’s only 30) about the industry’s ongoing efforts around sustainability and dispelling some myths about its carbon footprint. At one point in the 60-second anchor spot, he’s joined by a young version of Quebec TV personality Ricardo Larrivée, who’s also sporting a full beard.

A series of 15-second spots focuses on specific aspects of the PLQ’s operations, such as how it has successfully attained a 24% reduction in its carbon footprint per litre of milk; how dairy farmers are improving cows’ food to reduce the methane emitted by cow dung; how one litre of Quebec milk produces three times less greenhouse gas emissions than the world average, and how dairy farmers are re-using water and rotating crops as part of their efforts.All of the advertising features an elongated “T” in the word “lait” that shows how the PLQ is raising the bar.

But why a tiny Duvernay-Tardif?: “Since the goal was to talk about the environment and the impact on future generations, we wanted to create, for the duration of a campaign, a spokesperson for these future generations,” said lg2 partner, copywriter Guillaume Bergeron. “[And] we like to surprise viewers with new ideas or new effects, like deepfake in this case.”

And we quote: “Our carbon footprint per litre of milk is one of the lowest in the world – almost three times lower than the global average. It’s a fact that motivates all our producers to keep up their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality for a better today and tomorrow.” – Julie Gélinas, marketing director, PLQ

Chris Powell