Dairy Farmers puts on its game face

The new campaign for chocolate milk calls out the beverage's credentials as a natural, post-workout recovery drink.

DFC_Faster3The Dairy Farmers of Canada is back in game shape with its latest campaign for chocolate milk.

With a new multi-platform effort introducing the tag line “The original recovery drink,” the organization is standing its ground in the post-workout recovery niche first carved out for the beverage in 2008.

“The notion of ‘The original recovery drink’ puts the flag in the ground and claims the territory among the competition as the first ready-to-drink, post-workout recovery beverage within the category,” says Geneviève Latour, assistant director communications, marketing and nutrition at Dairy Farmers of Canada.

The work, which includes TV, OOH, digital, in-store, event activation, sponsorships and a contest, is an evolution of the brand’s initial campaign, says Karen Howe, SVP, CD at One Advertising, the Dairy Farmers’ long-time agency partner for chocolate milk. M2 is handling the media buy, Twist Image digital, Attitude Marketing retail efforts and Launch! is behind experiential.

The organization representing Canada’s dairy farmers has had success changing the conversation about the beverage, which was once targeted as junk food, but is now considered a post-workout recovery option for serious athletes. Since 2008, consideration of drinking chocolate milk as a sport recovery beverage has increased by 28%, Latour says, citing a milk usage and attitude study conducted in 2012.

But in 2011, Gatorade launched a competitive post-workout recovery product called G3 that professes it can deliver the energy needed before, during and after a workout. Aside from the new competition, Dairy Farmers thinks it needs to reinforce the message that athletes should drink chocolate milk after every workout.

“I think we’ve done a great job of getting on people’s radar screens,” Howe says. “But making sure that people are [drinking chocolate milk after a workout] all the time is the next step of education.

“Anyone who is a serious athlete… they do have routines established,” she adds. “We want to make sure we’re part of that routine all of the time.”

The campaign is running throughout 2014 and features a contest that drives to the website RechargeWithMilk.ca, where visitors are encouraged to share their post-workout routine via Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #RwMrewards for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Mississauga Marathon or Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon. The grand prize for the contest, running until May 25, includes a 12-week training program with Olympic gold medallist and triathlete Simon Whitfield.

In-store efforts ran throughout April at Sobeys in Atlantic Canada and Metro locations in Ontario, including shelf ads and booklets, which spoke about a contest the brand is running as well as benefits of post-workout recovery and specifically, chocolate milk. Ambassadors were also in the stores giving out chocolate milk samples and talking about how it can be part of a workout routine.

Meanwhile, TSA placements were done near gyms and running clubs, promoting the Recharge Rewards contest and a Recharge With Milk team will be present at more than 40 events in 2014, including triathlons, marathons and team sports, and will set up a Recharge With Milk Recovery Zone at events, distributing milk and talking to athletes on site.

Similar sponsorships allowed the brand to interact with more than 100,000 athletes in 2013.