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The got milk ad campaign

The Got Dairy ad plan is a generic ad advertising campaign: it is designed to promote a product niche instead of an individual product or brand. Free-riding is therefore an unavoidable issue when interacting with generic advertisement campaigns. If so, who pays for the advertising campaign, and who actually benefits in return? With the spillover effect this kind of ad plan can have, it is difficult not to have any free riders which do not contribute or won't do this, while at the same time reap the benefits of the increased sales and recognition the advertising campaign would bring.

Another question that arises is whether or not everyone (entities who finance the ads and those who don't) is way better off contributing to the generic ad marketing campaign, or advertising one's own brand. According to Krishnamurthy's[1] model, regarding voluntary contribution to common ads, typically, a firm will actually spend less on universal advertising than on brand advertising. Also, investing in general ads has a good effect on firm income as well as industry welfare. This demonstrates in the Got Dairy case, milk firms are better off adding to the ad advertising campaign than running their own. Even with many small free-riders, the major firms it's still better off. On the other hand, running a brand ad marketing campaign would increase company earnings, decrease competitor's revenue, as well as reduce industry welfare. Because the goal of the Got Milk campaign is to avoid a decrease of sale of dairy itself, we can consider that in this case, the generic ad campaign methodology was well-suited for the task at hand.

The Got Dairy campaign was initiated by California's greatest milk processors, who financed the California Dairy Processor Board to set-up and run the plan. They received a contribution of 3 cents per gallon sold, which totaled to around $23 million per year. [2] The marketing campaign itself was then created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, a big San-Francisco based Advertising organization. Contribution to the marketing campaign soon became mandatory, with all dairy farmers needing to donate to the ad plan. Currently, "all farmers are required to contribute $0. 15 out of approximately $13. 50 from the wages of each hundredweight of milk produced for milk promotional campaigns". [3] [4]

Results were mitigated for firms who contributed to the campaign. Noel Blisard[5], who conducted research on the subject, "estimated that dairy products suppliers received $5. 33 in return for each additional dollar allocated to universal promotion". However, other experts estimate that there is no increase in sales, and that the plan merely managed to stabilize sales[6]. It has been proved by Jeff Manning, the executive director of the California Dairy Processor Table. Although awareness increased to 91%, sales simply stabilized. This can be thought to still much better than the 3% every year decrease it was struggling before. Therefore, in that sense, the plan can be viewed as a success.

But what were the objectives of the marketing campaign? That which was expected by the suppliers? As Manning places it, "Whatever we have was stop the hemorrhaging in the face of competition from Coke, Pepsi, Snapple, Gatorade, Evian - a complete slew of rivals with deeper pockets". The California Dairy Processor Board's goal was ultimately to form an industry company that includes all milk manufacturers, who put funding and effort towards a common goal: beating the soda pop companies and other substitutes. These companies possessed higher advertising costs, and were therefore in a position to reach more consumers. Currently, after halting the hemorrhaging of dairy sales, the campaign's ultimate goal, according to Jeff Manning, is to increase dairy sales. That, regrettably, did not happen, and Manning admits it. However, he still considers the campaign to be a success, and it proceeds to this day. [7]

  1. Enlarging the Pie vs. Increasing One's Slice: An Research of the partnership Between Universal and Brand Advertising Sandeep Krishnamurthy College or university of Washington, Bothell
  2. Got dairy? Douglas B. Holt, L'Oreal Professor of Marketing, University of Oxford
  3. A Look at the Largest Agricultural Advertising Campaign, the Controversy Adjoining it and What Still Must be Done. Cortney Peissig
  4. The Problem of Common Advertising: An Experimental Research* Kent D. Messer, Harry M. Kaiser, William D. Schulze Cornell University
  5. Advertising and What We Eat The Case of MILK PRODUCTS Noel Blisard
  6. Social marketing: a synopsis of procedure and results W A Smith
  7. Winter Business Lovers breakfast presenting Jeff Manning
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