A new TV commercial features a script that is a mainstay of Canadian advertising: A group of middle-aged men playing hockey and enjoying a cold one after the game.
The twist is that their after-game beverage of choice is milk, part of a new campaign from the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) aimed at increasing milk consumption – particularly among men 25-54.
“It’s a big task, but hopefully [our] tongue-in-cheek approach will lead to new occasions for drinking milk,” said Sébastien Bergeron, assistant director of marketing at Montreal-based DFC, of the group’s new “Pour a Tall Cold One” campaign.
According to the most recent figures from the Canadian Dairy Information Centre (CDIC), liquid milk consumption fell 21.5% between 1996 and 2015, from 90.05 to 70.64 litres per person.
Bergeron attributed the decline to the continued evolution of alternative milk sources such as soy and almond-based milk. The U.S. research company BCC Research said the global market for milk alternatives reached US$5.8 billion in 2014, and is expected to reach US$10.9 billion by 2019.
The 13-week campaign was created by DDB Canada’s Toronto office and also features a 15-second online spot that mimics the “slow pour” popularized in beer advertising.
Other elements in the 13-week campaign include homepage take-overs, a paid influencer program coordinated by DDB Public Relations and a series of transit shelter ads. The latter resemble traditional out-of-home beer ads, with images of a glass of milk against a mountain range accompanied by messages such as “Both smooth and crisp. And crisp and smooth,” and “Pour a tall cold one.”
Bergeron said men 45 represented the “bulls-eye target” for the campaign, since they are increasingly playing a key role in family meal times and grocery shopping. “They know what there is to know about milk, so the main goal is to expand the occasions for drinking milk,” he said.
In a December report, the research firm Euromonitor said Canada’s drinking milk market fell by 1% to $3.7 billion in 2016, despite the fact it remains a “staple food product” for Canadians.
Flavoured milk has been one of the few bright spots for the liquid milk category, with consumption growing nearly 60% (57.7%), from 3.95 litres to 6.23 litres per person.
“Despite the positive growth achieved for flavoured milk drinks as well as milk alternatives, which, in fact [have] seen stronger performance than before, milk’s decline more than offsets the gains,” said the Euromonitor report, which cited “intensifying” consumer health consciousness as a key factor in the rise of alternative milk products.