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California Milk Advisory Board Employs Innovative Marketing Tools to Keep Dairy Products "Fresh"

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., & MODESTO, Calif.—October 23, 2012—As the number one dairy state producing over 21% of the nation’s milk supply, the California dairy industry is going where no other state marketing organization has gone before.  The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) is utilizing new advertising spots, interactive gaming and technology to show that no matter how much the world has shifted, California milk and dairy products remain an important and relevant part of modern family life.

Make Us Part of Your Family

Everyone remembers the talking California cows who won over TV audiences starting in 2000 with their laid-back attitudes and snappy banter. The world has changed a lot since then, but in the newest series of CMAB ads, the cows have evolved with it—they're just as comfortable in today’s high-tech home and complicated family life as they were on their own California farms.  Directed with a deft comic touch by Fred Savage of the Wonder Years fame, the California cows join everyday families in a world of texting, Facebook, and lip synch videos.

The California Dairy Industry’s Got Game

In order to connect with consumers, you need to reach them where they’re spending time and today that’s playing popular games online.  A California cow and the Real California Milk Seal are now permanent fixtures in Farmville, the seventh most played game on the planet with over 1 million California cows already living on virtual farms.  The CMAB also created a customized game called Cow Spotter that lives on and on the website.  In addition to fun and games with California’s beloved cows, an upcoming mobile phone app will use breaking technology to allow consumers to personally make California dairy part of their family.

 “Advertisers don’t have the captive audience they used to,” said Michael Freeman, CMAB Vice President of Advertising.   “Successful advertising today makes people stop what they’re doing and choose to watch.  Spots that they can personally connect with, interact with and talk about and share with their friends.  Early consumer research shows that our Make Us Part of Your Family ads and interactive outreach appeal to consumers because they are modern, current and build positive awareness by keeping California dairy products relevant.”

Sealing the Deal

Marketing innovation aimed at building awareness and demand for California dairy products isn’t new for the CMAB.  Five years ago this month, the CMAB introduced the Real California Milk (RCM) seal to consumers following the success of the Real California Cheese (RCC) seal in 1984.

“We launched the RCM seal based on solid research showing that consumers across the country found dairy products appealing when made from Real California Milk,” said Stan Andre, CEO of CMAB.

The RCM seal certifies that the milk used in the dairy products bearing it contains 100% Real California Milk and comes from California dairy farms. The seal can be found on fluid milk, butter, ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, crème fraiche and yogurt.  Today, it can also be found virtually from Facebook to Farmville.

In its five years of existence, the RCM seal has proven to be a strong marketing tool for the state’s dairy farmers. Today, over 116 processors use the seal on hundreds of products.

California is the nation’s leading milk producer and also produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state.  The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal. Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family owned and that means consumers are supporting dairy families when they look for the milk and cheese seals when they shop.