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Canadian Kirsten Captures America's Heart To Join California's Happy Cow Herd

More Than One Million Votes Cast in Search for Next Star of California Dairy Campaign 

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., & MODESTO, Calif. – January 19, 2010 – More than one million votes were counted and today it’s official – Canadian “Kirsten” is California’s next Happy Cow. Announced in a national television ad from the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) debuting this week (http://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/kirsten/spots), Kirsten joins the ranks of California’s iconic Happy Cows after besting nine other bovines and garnering nearly half of the 1,078,647 online votes for the honor of representing California’s dairy industry in 2010.

“While she trailed Seoul Soo for some time, consumers really got behind Kirsten towards the end of the competition to propel her to the top,” said Michael Freeman, the CMAB’s Vice President of Advertising. “The level of consumer involvement in this campaign – logging more than one million online votes, not to mention the outpouring of positive feedback from people who love their Happy Cows – is unprecedented. In fact it’s so popular that we’ve decided to launch a second season of auditions this spring.”

The California Happy Cow “Auditions” integrated TV and Web campaign launched in late 2008, challenging cows from across the globe to a virtual American Idol-style competition to become the next California Happy Cow. Ten humorous audition videos were produced featuring unhappy cows from across the globe vying for a chance to come to the Golden State and encouraging consumers to visit the RealCaliforniaMilk.com site each day to vote for their favorite contender. Traffic to the RealCaliforniaMilk.com site has increased ten-fold since the campaign began airing and the site content has been enhanced for better consumer interaction and education about California dairy products and producers. 

Kirsten’s audition tape, which shows her shivering against a backdrop of the cold Canadian tundra with a wolf howling in the background, beat out her closest competitor – “Seoul Soo” from South Korea – with more than 534,000 votes. Anna from Switzerland was the other international entry as well as several U.S. cows including Destynee from New York City, Alicia from an unknown small town, Jenn from the Bayou, and April, Lisa and Kathy from the Midwest. During her tenure as a representative of the nation’s largest dairy state, Kirsten will star in a series of TV ads and online features at RealCaliforniaMilk.com. The first of four “Kirsten Wins” television spots will start airing November 17th.

Season Two of the “Auditions” campaign will roll out in June with teaser spots appearing nationally in May.

Introduced in late 2000, the Happy Cows campaign concept was developed by Deutsch LA. The agency and the CMAB have since been recognized with numerous accolades for raising awareness of California dairy products.

While the Happy Cows campaign will continue to promote products with the Real California Milk and Real California Cheese seals, consumers can learn more about California’s dairy families at RealCaliforniaMilk.com/people.

California produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. Dairy products made with California milk can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal.

Contact: Jennifer Giambroni, California Milk Advisory Board; jgiambroni@cmab.net; (650) 871-6459 ext. 304

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