By John Houle
Back in 1993 the Got Milk campaign for the California Milk Processor Board was brilliant. It raised awareness and helped make milk cool again like other packaged beverages.
But it’s time we Got Over It – at least in terms of trying to copy it over and over again.
We’ve all seen the many reiterations of this campaign. It was even used during the Iraq war in 2004 as “Got Democracy?”
Yes, at first it worked. Associating your brand with a successful campaign is smart, but now it’s old and trite.
One reason the original milk campaign worked so well was that it was fresh and original. It helped break through the clutter. Now, when you copy the phrase, it’s just another lazy line.
Ironically, when the advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, created the campaign, they were accused of being lazy and grammatically incorrect. But, they were able to convince their client, and today it is recognized as one of the top 10 advertising campaigns of all time. Yet, the originator of this breakthrough campaign did not just sit down for 5 minutes and copy the latest, best campaign slogan. They thought it through, took their time, and struck brilliance.
Admittedly, you and I may never emulate the effectiveness of the Got Milk campaign. But, we can try. We can take a moment to develop the best headline for our ads. We can come up with original concepts that clearly promote our client’s message.
Now, it’s time I officially retire this concept.