With US milk sales turning sour Got Milk? and the White Mustache campaign made it cool again.

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It’s 1993, and milk sales in California are sliding. But, boldly committing three cents per gallon gave the California Milk Board $23million for an ad campaign – a budget on a par with cars and beer.
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San Francisco-based ad agency Goodby, Silverstein and Partners ditched the post-war ‘Milk does a body good’ health message and developed a ‘milk deprivation strategy’. This focused on that feeling you get when there’s no milk to wash down cookies or go on cereal. 
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The first TV ad saw a man unable to answer the $10,000-winning question on a radio phone-in because he had no milk to wash down his peanut butter sandwiches. Got milk? was born. 
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The success of the campaign saw sales rise by 15 million gallons that year. The next stage linked milk with brands like Oreo cookies. Print ads of cookies with a bite taken out and the “Got milk?” slogan were bold, simple and didn’t even feature milk.
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The campaign went national and Milkpep, the US milk marketing board, developed the White Mustache campaign. With celebrity endorsements, this built on milk’s new coolness and brought back the health message. Celebrities get as much kudos from the campaign as they give. 
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In 2004 Got milk? went global as the UK milk council adopted it. An exhibition of the ads-as-art is at the Copia Gallery, California, until 30 May. 
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<a href=http://www.gotmilk.com target=”_blank”>www.gotomilk.com</a>
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