The upsides of dairy

A new, multi-faceted national campaign from the Dairy Farmers of Canada focuses on the health benefits of milk products.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada want Canadians to know all the ways milk products can contribute to a healthy diet, and they’re tackling the issue from as many different angles as they can.

“Get Enough” features three TV ads and three online videos, each focusing on a different dairy product. While the online spots are highly artistic, featuring acrobats performing at death-defying heights, the TV spots are more down-to-earth, featuring families picking out dairy products in the grocery store and connecting each product to one of three national health and disease prevention organizations the Dairy Farmers has partnered with.

All three TV spots will run throughout 2015, although more weight and focus will be placed on a particular one depending on the time of year. To start, the emphasis is placed on milk and the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada to coincide with National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in March. Spots for cheese and Osteoporosis Canada, as well as yogurt and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, have also been produced.

For the online ads, one promoting cheese and another promoting yogurt will also debut as the year goes on and will be used as pre-roll. Each segment of the campaign will also include subway takeovers, bus wraps, transit ads, print ads and presence at major events through a partnership with Rogers and Chatelaine magazine.

KBS+ Montreal is handling creative on the traditional side of the campaign, with Mirum handling the online videos. M2 handled the media buy.

While the parts of last year’s Dairy Farmers campaign that focused on children encouraging their parents to drink more milk were successful, Nathalie Savoie, assistant director of nutrition for the Dairy Farmers of Canada, says the other parts didn’t create as much of an impact. This year, she says the creative for the online ads and impact of the out-of-home executions will hopefully get more Canadians to take notice.

“Milk products have always been there, so we need to be more creative in order to make consumers realize they might be one of the Canadians that are not getting enough and missing out on the health benefits as a result,” Savoie says.

All of the ads drive to the Get Enough Helper app, a diet tracking tool that reminds users to get the right amount of dairy servings each day, with a donation being made to one of the three partner health organizations every time they do. The app, also developed by Mirum, launched last year,  and it currently has 50,000 users and has generated over $150,000 in donations.

The campaign is targeting adults over the age of 35, as Savoie says the organization’s research has shown younger Canadians, while they may be conscious of their health, are less concerned about chronic diseases and conditions. The Dairy Farmers began promoting the health benefits of dairy in 2006, focusing more on weight loss before shifting to prevention of chronic illness in 2009.

A survey commissioned by the Dairy Farmers late last year showed that liquid milk consumption was down 25% over the last 20 years. At Alberta Milk’s annual meeting last year, Dairy Farmers of Canada president Richard Sanchez cited increased competition from new products – like soy and almond milks, as well as nutrient-rich smoothies, that were perceived to be healthier – as one of the reasons for the decline. In 2014, the Canada Community Health Survey showed two-thirds of adults over 30 and three quarters of adults over 50 weren’t getting the two to three servings of dairy or alternatives that the Canada Food Guide recommends adults have every day.

Savoie says the app and campaign around it are not just about promoting dairy, but its role in an overall healthy diet that people could be missing out on.

“It drives home the connection that milk products have key health benefits the general population might not know about,” she says. “We didn’t want it to just be a milk app, but a healthy diet app.”