Socialist Milk Marketing

you always see “Got Milk?” ads, but why don’t individual dairy companies advertise? why don’t wee see knudsen and alta dena commercials? there must be some difference in quality between different brands. and if not, why even bother with different packaging? why not just put everything into a uniform carton that just says “MILK” on it?

The “Got Milk” ads are for the dairy industry. I’m sure the idea for them came from the old cliche, “A high tide lifts all boats” (i.e., it’ll be good for everyone). However, there has been some controversy about the ads. Critics have pointed out that there isn’t any need to convince people to drink milk; they’re either going to drink it because they like it, or they won’t drink it. I don’t believe that the millions spent on the ad campaign have significantly increased milk consumption in the US.

If you can find a copy, check out “Going-going-gone: Vanishing Americana” by Susan Jones & Marilyn Nissenson (ISBN 0-8188-1919-1). Among other once common things that are now nearly gone, it mentions the plight of the milkman. In part, it says:

“Following WWII, supermarkets opened everywhere. Most families filled up their cars with supplies for the week. Mike was one of the staples they bought in bulk along with paper towels and juice. Before long, dairies couldn’t afford to send a milkman out on a truck to private homes, since the dollars he brought in were well below the take from supermarkets. Individual dairies, which had advertised their name brands and fostered brand loyalty trhough the milkman’s routes, lost their identity. Consumers began to think of milk as a mass-produced generic product.”

Please don’t get me started… too late.
We pay an automatic deduction out of our milkcheck $.15 per hundred pounds of milk whether we want to or not. In return the various milk promo campaigns are paid. You do hear individual companies advertising their product but usually only if they’re trying to increase their market share or if they have a product that is distinguishable from their competition. For example our company ( Garelick out of Boston MA) makes all their producers sign a document saying they don’t use Bovine Growth Hormone, this was a big deal a year or two ago and they advertised it. Also there are organic farms that have even tighter restrictions on production and they advertise their products as organic. But maybe the biggest reason they don’t advertise much is that the farmer pays for it out of their own check on a nationwide level and also that the price that the companies pay their farmers is generally the same between from comp. to comp… The price being based milk marketing orders and their distance from some podunk city in the upper midwest (begging for forgiveness in advance if you’re a podunkian). Actually that not right that just explains the difference in price. Lets just forget about the rest.

Lumpy said: "“Following WWII, supermarkets opened everywhere. Most families filled up their cars with supplies for the week. **Mike ** was one of the staples they bought in bulk along with paper towels and juice.”

who is mike, and why did people buy him in bulk? i though prostitution is illegal. or is this cannibalism? if it is legal, can i buy joe or frank, too? how 'bout sally? or did you mean “mikey,” referring to life cereal?

(sorry, couldn’t resist)

Guy said

I think it has. Maybe not by itself, but I see a lot of people walking around with the new milk “chugs”. Especially on the train in the morning.

There aren’t enough days in the weekend. – Steven Wright

[[why don’t individual dairy companies advertise? ]]
They do in these parts (New England). After all, you can feel good, GOOD, good about Hood.

“Harry, Harry, where do you go when the lights go out?”

elliss555 asked

Oh, for sure! A cup of joe with your frank, why not?

(Of course, I only eat kosher, so the joe would have to be with a non-dairy creamer. :slight_smile: )

Well this new packaging (smaller one serving sizes) are supposed to help, but all of us as kids remember single sizes from school lunches. Whether or not this greatly increases milk consumption we won’t notice until further down the road. I saw the production numbers for the first part of the year on a state to state and US total basis and they were almost all up. Most of the rise was due to a per cow increase in prod. rather than more cows. Whether or not the drought will affect the total prod. numbers or not is still up in the air. New York is #3 in prod. while Cal. is #1 and the rest of the top rankers are western great lakes states that weren’t as affected. Even New England, who really don’t prod. as much as they used to, weren’t as affected by the drought as the mid-atlantics.
But back to marketing, there are other products much the same. When was the last time you checked the brand name on your eggs, fresh meat, potatoes(not the frozen kind, the real ones), lettuce, tomatoes. The point I’m trying to make is that the more the product is a fresh staple, the less advertising and the less competition for market share there is between companys due to the relative inexpensiveness of the product. Also the companies have little control over supply other than the price the pay their suppliers Due to the large number of suppliers and their ability to add production in a relativly quick turnaround time, considering we’re talking agriculture products, prices stay relatively low. The occasional weather related calamity affects this but by importing from the tropics or Southern Hem. as prices rise then things even back out.