BC Dairy thinks milk is for the weak

Have you ever had days where you feel more lethargic than usual and say to yourself, 'Man, I wish I had chair legs built into the back of my pants?' If so, then you're in luck because the BC Dairy Foundation just happens to be selling such an invention online. Really.

Have you ever had days where you feel more lethargic than usual and say to yourself, ‘Man, I wish I had chair legs built into the back of my pants?’ If so, then you’re in luck because the BC Dairy Foundation just happens to be selling such an invention online. Really.

‘Chair pants’ are just one of many products featured as part of a promotional campaign that launched at the end of September, revolving around online store Theweakshop.com. It extends out of focus groups that BC Dairy and its AOR, DDB Vancouver, conducted in December to gauge the reaction to its ‘Must Drink More Milk’ campaign targeting teens. They were asked to talk about how milk fits into the overall context of what they’re looking forward to about their lives.

‘They told us that they see a long-term benefit of healthy bones, but they didn’t realize the immediate benefit of what milk provides for them, which is energy,’ explains Liz Gurszky, director of communication and market development for the BC Dairy Foundation.

The concept came out of the insight that there are a lot of bona fide products in the marketplace – like the Slap Chop, often featured in infomercials – for things you could easily do on your own, like chopping vegetables. The inventions on Theweakshop.com, created with the help of Vancouver-based industrial designer Robert Johnston, aim to provide immediate help to those plagued by lethargy. You can actually buy things like ‘the wallet walker,’ ‘the food lift,’ ‘the downhill treadmill’ and ‘the support hat.’ Every purchase comes with a coupon for a two-litre carton of milk.

‘The challenge is to make the advertising interesting enough, and talk to teens about health in a language they’re going to relate to. Part of that is using sarcastic humour,’ explains Dean Lee, CD at DDB Vancouver.

Thus, the creative, which includes product infomercials on the site, online pre-roll, print ads and transit shelter ads, is all done in the same cheesy promotional style as products like the Snuggie (the blanket with sleeves). Two pop-up stores selling Weak Shop products are set to launch midway through October in Vancouver. All proceeds from product sales will go directly to a B.C.-based youth and sports charity.

The creds:

advertiser: BC Dairy Foundation

agency: DDB Canada, Vancouver

CDs: Dean Lee, Cosmo Campbell

copywriter: Kevin Rathgeber

AD: Colin Hart

agency producers: Ryan McCormick, Trish Beck

account director: Brett MacFarlane