With the ‘Got Milk’ print campaigns forever emblazoned in our heads, new strategies to promote the positives of the beverage—and embrace new technological avenues in the process—have been long overdue.
Thankfully, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) has come around with this issue, and in doing so, has infused its product into the world of advergaming. With “Get the Glass,” the Board has enlisted Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners to create a TV/online narrative based around the concept of a world without milk. “The idea was we basically wanted to make milk valuable, so we created this fantasy world where there’s only one more glass of milk left, and secured it in this glass case sort of like a crown jewel,” campaign creative director Feh Tarty tells ADOTAS.
Launched merely two weeks ago “Get the Glass” features seven TV spots—’The Trailer,’ ‘The Glass,’ ‘The Window,’ ‘The Gum,’ ‘The Straw,’ ‘The Sip,’ and ‘The Case’—which feature a fictional family known as the Adachis, who are on a quest to procure the last glass of milk in order to cure their various ailments. The TV ads, which are targeting the California market specifically, are the traditional complement to the online board game, which allows consumers to step into the Adachis’ disguised plumbing van and help the family find their version of the Holy Grail.
“We wanted to make sure the TV spots didn’t just end right there,” says Tarty. “Just the way advertising is today, [the CMPB] wanted to put viewers in the driver’s seat where this family is not going to get the [milk] on their own. They’re going to need your help. That was just begging for a game where you can actually help this family get this glass of milk, and you can solve their issues.”
Milk and board games don’t ideally go hand-in-hand, but “Get the Glass” does a worthy job in melding the two to create a fun, role-playing adventure. Once users arrive at the landing page and click through, they are given virtual dice (which you use a mouse click to maneuver) to steer the Adachis through hostile territory—in this case, a dense, Flash-intensive, heavily-guarded outland that holds the valuable glass of milk. “You try to avoid security and getting sent to Milkatraz. If you make it all the way through and get to the end, then you get the glass,” adds Pat McKay, Tarty’s creative partner at GS&P.
With a firsthand view of the road, players encounter several action and trivia-based challenges with practically every roll of the dice as they work their way through five levels to get to “Fort Fridge.” In doing so, players each step of the way have to overcome physical handicaps caused by milk deficiency. “As you go through the game, you are constantly seeing all the things that milk helps with, whether it’s cavities, PMS symptoms, stronger nails, muscles and all that,” Tarty explains. “We made those challenges fun, but at the same time you’re getting educated on the benefits of milk.”
Of course, (re)selling the value of milk, arguably the most common of fridge items, was the big hurdle of the campaign. “Milk is such a tough thing to sell because everyone has it,” Tarty concedes. We tried to get people to drink more of it, and the way to do that is educate them on how milk can actually help. It seems like boring information, so we had to start to recreate worlds that are entertaining.”
Apparently, despite the hurdles of peddling the values of something so commonplace, the edu-tainment combination is working, according to Tarty. “A lot of the blogs have been saying it’s the best Flash game site they’ve seen. It’s getting a lot of repeat visits. It’s had 3 million impressions already, and it’s only been up for two weeks. That’s great, especially for a product that’s California-based. That’s who we’re advertising to, the California Milk Board. But it’s getting response from all over. Some of the biggest hits we’re getting are from the UK. It’s pretty wild.”
With a target audience of teenage girls and households, “Get the Glass” TV spots will run through 2007, while GS&P states that the online board game will run for two years. Currently, sites like Nick.com and TheOnion.com, as well as several gaming sites are playing host to teaser banners leading to the site. But if the numbers and the content itself prove anything, word-of-mouth should be enough of a tool to drive a bigger audience to milk.