Dairy Farmers spoof vitamin advertising

Who: Dairy Farmers of Ontario, with Lifelong Crush leading on creative, supported by its sister company Broken Heart Love Affair. Middle Child is handling PR, with Hype for influencer, and Starcom for media.

What: “15-A-Day,” a new milk campaign that parodies the subscription vitamin advertising that has become so prevalent in recent years.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, primarily running across social and out-of-home. There is also a partnership with TikTok influencers known for debunking the myths around health trends, as well as a dedicated website at 15-A-Day.ca. Media is “hyper-targeted” towards health-conscious consumers in the GTA, with a bullseye target of millennial moms.

Why: The campaign is part of a long-running strategy to increase consumer affinity for milk, particularly as the rise of alternative products such as nut milks have cut into its share. Kimberly Romany, director of marketing strategy and consumer communications with DFO, said it’s about reminding consumers that milk is a “simple and delicious” source of required nutrients.

It’s also Lifelong Crush/BHLA’s first work for DFO since winning the business in July. The two-year-old agency has already developed something of a reputation for injecting life into mature categories.

How: The campaign taps into the insight that while consumers may intuitively know that a glass of milk is more effective and convenient than vitamin subscriptions, they are still being swayed by expensive, direct-to-consumer multivitamin subscriptions.

Subscription vitamin services such as Ritual and Nourish by Nature Made have made made significant inroads with consumers in recent years, with extensive Instagram advertising, supported by sleek design and influencer endorsements, playing a large role in their growth.

A 2019 Vox.com article entitled “When did vitamins get so cool?” quoted a blog post about Ritual which stated that its visually compelling form factor made it “almost too pretty to swallow,” while celebrities like the Kardashians have lent their name to vitamin products in the past.

The DFO campaign spoofs some of the hallmarks of those ads, with social posts showing sachets of milk, accompanied by messages like “Your 15 daily essentials, best served cold” and “15 essentials, simplified — it’s just milk.”

The 15-A-Day.ca website, meanwhile, features a “glamour” shot of milk, accompanied by the message “Find milk at your local grocery store.” There are also dedicated tabs that show how milk can help with everything from recovery, immunity, energy and strength. A disclaimer at the bottom of the page reads “15-A-DAY has been brought to you by milk, which is very much real, unlike this product.”

Other campaign elements include a satirical BuzzFeed quiz mirroring the quizzes often seen on wellness sites to help consumers find the right subscription vitamin package, and a partnership with well-known nutrition expert Michelle Jaelin that layers in an educational element by targeting parents and informing audiences of how milk contributes to overall health and wellbeing.

And we quote: “This was a great opportunity to capture consumers’ attention and remind them that milk is a high-quality source of nutrients,” said Romany. “Our work with Lifelong Crush and Broken Heart Love Affair delivers the fun, breakthrough tone needed to drive meaningful consumer engagement.”

Chris Powell