A bald eagle with a self-esteem problem gets a verbal lashing from a smack-talking goldfish. A family of Russian nesting dolls – some more portly than others – meets a tragic end. And a pair of flatulent Lego bachelors have a contest of stink-tastic proportions. The moral of every story? Must drink more milk.

Welcome to ‘Milkvids’ – a collection of 14 animated videos created by DDB Canada’s Vancouver-based online and interactive division, Tribal DDB, for the BC Dairy Foundation. Eight of the vids appeared only online on YouTube and, while six others are running on B.C. television and in cinemas over a staggered three-year schedule starting last June.

Designed to boost the drink’s credibility among young people, the quirky campaign focuses on the potentially dire consequences of not drinking enough of it. ‘The strategy was to talk about the benefits of milk without preaching,’ says Cosmo Campbell, CD at Tribal DDB.

In the first phase of the campaign, the TV spots drove to the YouTube channel where teens could watch the edgier digital short films and post their own milk videos to win monthly prizes. ‘We purposely chose an animation style that was a little cruder but still had that cool factor and would allow the public to get involved and create their own material,’ says DDB Canada CD Dean Lee.

Over 50 videos were uploaded and more than 100,000 people have viewed the films. In January, two grand prizes were awarded: the People’s Choice award to the user-generated video with the most views and Most Creative video selected by an industry panel.

The campaign also targeted youth on the streets and at high schools, colleges and universities via events, contests and promotions. T-shirt giveaways with graphic expressions of ‘must drink more milk moments’ spread the word old-school viral style.

Fresh online and guerilla activity to complement the ‘More Milk’ mission will launch late this summer.


Canadians consider themselves more-active-than-thou when it comes to charity donations and volunteering, but statistics show otherwise. In its work to aid the approximately 300,000 child soldiers fighting in 19 armed conflicts around the world, War Child Canada wanted to change that with a simple position: if you’re not taking action, you’re making things worse.

War Child Canada and Toronto agency John St. took a satirical approach aimed at galvanizing young Canadians into action. A two-minute viral video depicted a soccer mom donating weapons and grannies knitting balaclavas to ‘help the child soldiers.’ The ironic video – which was also cut into 30-second TV spots – gained over 100,000 hits within the first two weeks. It became the top featured and top favourited on YouTube, and was the sixth most discussed non-profit video of all time in Canada.

The integrated campaign centred on a website,, which featured facts on child soldiers, a petition to increase government aid funding, as well as printable posters, badges, stencils and wallpapers that visitors could use to spread the word. The posters, with statements like ‘War is for kids’ and images of bullets in crayon box camouflage, were also distributed as wild postings in cities.

Social media also played a role in the campaign. John St. sent ‘knife donation boxes’ to activists and influencers who then blogged about it, resulting in 17,689 referrals to and 1,667 comments on YouTube.

As well as the usual goals of spreading awareness and raising funds, the non-profit’s aim was to build a database of potential volunteers and activists among the 22-to-35 demo. ‘If you sign up for a charity between the ages of 20 and 30, generally that is your charity or one of your charities that you’ll stay with,’ says John St. co-CD Stephen Jurisic.

Since the launch, War Child has seen over 12,000 new memberships, an 80% increase in new volunteers and a 50% increase in donations. The org is currently planning the 2009 campaign.

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