4 Content Tips from the 'Got Milk?' Campaign


Filing this under the category of “I’m how old?”:  The ‘Got Milk?’ campaign is celebrating its 25th anniversary. 

This iconic tagline came to be after a woman in a focus group simply said, “The only time I even think about milk is when I run out of it.” This one statement seemed to drive the rest of the group’s conversation and soon it became very apparent that consumers had an emotional connection to this everyday product, especially when it was absent from their lives. 

“It didn’t matter whether it was good for you; what mattered was that all food paled in taste without it,” writes Matthew Daddona for Fast Company

As with all great campaigns, content and storytelling have played a big part in the “Got Milk?” success. Here are 4 things we learned about content from milk:

Listen to Your Customers

We spend a lot of time telling people about our products and services when we really should be spending our time listening to our customers talk about our products and services.  Knowing how your brand is used--and is needed--in the lives of your customers will help you create messaging that resonates. 


Keep it Simple

The best stories and the best tag lines are those that convey simple messages and instantly connect a consumer to a brand.  You don’t want to be too general (think JCPenney’s “Every day matters”) but instead focus on what makes your company unique to your customers. 


Call to Action

When it comes to creating content—especially for websites—I always tell clients to focus on the Call to Action, or CTA.  What is it you want the audience to do? You need to start with the end result in mind. 


Strategy Matters

Yes, words matter, but where (and when) you see those words matters too.  The “Got Milk?” campaign was very strategic in where ads were placed—billboards near stores, placards inside grocery carts, etc.  With so many communication channels available in today’s digital world, being strategic with where and when customers will see your messaging is key. “We’re moving into a new world of marketing communication,” said marketing professor George Belch in an interview with Inc.com. “But you still need to hit all the consumer touch points.” 


4 Takeaways From the Iconic ‘Got Milk?’ Ad Campaign, Inc.com