DFO invites people to chill with milk

Who: Dairy Farmers of Ontario, with Broken Heart Love Affair for strategy and creative; Untitled Films for production; Saints Editorial for editing; Alter Ego and Darling for colour, VFX and finishing; Circonflex for audio; Starcom for media; Middle Child for PR and Hype for influencer.

What: “Everybody Milk,” a playful campaign that’s the latest in a torrent of milk marketing from both national and provincial dairy marketing organizations over the past couple of years. It’s a departure from the DFO’s more recent marketing under the “Dairy Done Right” platform, which tended towards earnest portrayals of the province’s dairy families.

When & Where: The campaign launched Oct. 10, with 30- and 15-second TV spots, supported by online video, social, out-of-home, audio (radio and Spotify), PR and influencer relations. There’s also an outdoor installation at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

Why: Announcing BHLA and its production arm Lifelong Crush as its new AOR earlier this year, DFO promised a “refreshed brand strategy” aimed at building emotional connections between consumers and dairy farmers and positioning milk as a “modern, contemporary choice.”

The organization said the goal with this campaign is to build upon the “strong foundation” established through ongoing marketing efforts such as “Dairy Done Right,” with a goal of increasing consumption at a time when milk alternatives like almond and soy have grown in popularity.

The campaign looks to dispel the perception that people, particularly younger people, don’t like milk. Julie Granger, senior manager, marketing at DFO, said that the love of milk is actually “universal,” with 93% of Ontario households purchasing it regularly.

There are even suggestions that young people’s dietary choices are being shaped by a combination of information they see on social channels, and peer pressure. A recent study commissioned by the U.K. dairy cooperative Arla found that 49% of Gen Zs felt “ashamed” to order dairy in front of their peers, compared to 8% of those across all age groups.

The goal is to bring all of the organization’s marketing efforts under a singular, overarching message, encouraging Ontarians to celebrate their love for milk and all the ways they enjoy it, said Granger.

How: While so much recent milk advertising seems to feature everything but liquid milk, instead showing its alternate forms, the campaign’s anchor spot is all about the cow juice.

It opens on a young office worker pouring herself a glass of milk, when an older co-worker approaches and asks in a stern voice “Is that milk?” “Yeah, I love milk,” the younger worker responds, refuting the popular narrative that millennials don’t drink milk.

The fast-paced spot then shows people of all ages proudly holding a glass of milk, along with other forms of dairy, including in a grilled cheese sandwich, or in frozen form as ice cream. The spot ends with several people all reaching for an extra-large glass of milk, and cheerily voicing the “Everybody Milk” tagline.

DFO is also erecting a nearly 10-foot tall “Everybody Milk Tower” at Yonge-Dundas square, where visitors can enjoy a glass of milk served from a vintage milk truck. The first 200 guests each day will also receive a commemorative Everybody Milk glass. Toronto TikTok creator and DFO partner Jamie Milne, whose @Everything_Delish TikTok channel has 2.5 million followers, will also be on-site at Yonge-Dundas Square.

And DFO also made headlines last month, when it was announced as the sweater sponsor for the Toronto Maple Leafs, with the word “Milk” displayed prominently on the upper chest for every player this season.

And we quote: “‘Everybody Milk’ is aimed at uncovering consumers’ emotional connection to milk and celebrating that love in a fun and meaningful way with the goal of increasing consumption.” — Rosa Checchia, chief marketing officer, Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Chris Powell