In Canada, milk consumption has dropped 14% since 2015. This was big problem for Quebec Milk Producers. Competition from trendy plant-based drinks means that milk is no longer the household essential it once was. But the Holidays represented the perfect moment to reconnect Quebecers with good old fashioned cow’s milk.
In Quebec, it’s customary for kids to leave a glass of milk under the Christmas tree for Santa Claus. Because of this tradition, milk is central to how families spend time together during the Holidays. So, every year, the Quebec Milk Producers would advertise during this festive period with ads featuring a group of cute kids, to the delight of Quebec consumers!
2022 was a year dominated by tough economic challenges. An ageing population meant that Quebec, like the rest of Canada, was suffering from major labour shortages. There wasn’t a day that went by without news stories about the crisis – it was having a real impact on the economy and was all anyone could talk about, dominating the news agenda day in, day out in the run-up to the Holidays.
For Quebec Milk Producers, the Holidays are the perfect time to leverage the association with kids and milk. But it’s also a very cluttered time, when brands are desperate to make noise in the market.
We knew people were very concerned about the labour shortages. If we wanted to cut through with a campaign during the Holidays, we would need to hijack this conversation.
By doing this, we could make milk more relevant and reposition it as a contemporary drink, going head-to-head with our plant-based competitors who were perceived as more modern.
We leveraged our most recognizable asset – the Milk Family ‘Holiday Cute kids” – and ‘hire' them for ALL the key roles of our campaign, both in front of AND behind the camera!
Giving them complete control of our campaign, they would become not just the actors, but would play the roles of media strategists, buyers, community managers, and designers– even becoming the programme directors of one of Quebec’s main TV channels!
Our strategy was simple: put a traditional product – milk - front and center of an important current issue to drive talkability, whilst at the same time reignite the connection between the product and Quebec consumers in a festive and fun way!
Firstly, the kids became the programme directors for “Ciné-cadeau”, a channel that airs classic Christmas movies. They selected the movies THEY wanted to watch and even extended the Holiday programmes by a week…to make sure their friends could watch great family content until they went back to school. And we all know how impatient kids can be – so they even shortened the commercial breaks!
They took over hosting duties on “Le Tricheur”, one of Quebec’s biggest game shows – an integration that caused a huge stir on social. And became graphic designers of our out-of-home campaign, supervising its installation across the province.
Across print, the kids conducted a major recruitment initiative to encourage other Quebec children to feature in the campaign. The chosen kids were then featured across various regional weeklies, increasing proximity and loyalty for the brand.
The kids then took over the Quebec Milk Producers’ Facebook Page, interacting enthusiastically with consumers, and extended their presence to LinkedIn, where they made the direct link between the campaign and the real labour shortage issue. They were funny and authentic…even if they made a few spelling mistakes along the way!