Having apparently tired of mustaches, the California Milk Processor Board is betting on the female menstrual cycle to boost dairy sales.
In a new “Got Milk?” campaign called “Everything I Do Is Wrong,” the milk board positions its signature product as the cure-all for PMS by marketing it, oddly, to men. Specifically, men who happen to have wives and/or girlfriends made utterly, frighteningly irrational by their monthly hormonal holocaust.
The print ads, which bear headlines like “We can both blame myself” and “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant,” direct these poor, quivering souls to a website where they can create apology videos, track global PMS levels, read “case studies,” and get such advice as “Be on high alert for verbal traps and questions about weight.” The rapier wit on display may or may not take you back to your seventh-grade sex-ed class.
The milk board and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the agency responsible for the campaign, actually tried the PMS thing in 2005 with a TV commercial depicting men ransacking grocery stores and milk trucks of their inventory as Barry White played in the background. Both the 2005 commercial and the current campaign refer to a study that has shown “milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS.” Actually, that study concluded that vitamin D and calcium could reduce PMS symptoms, and as any lactose-intolerant lady knows, those can also be found in pills and fortified orange juice, among other things.
Regardless of whether or not you find this campaign blatantly sexist or only vaguely stupid, its goals are slightly confusing: If it hopes to motivate women to drink more milk, then is equating it with the idea that they’re hormone-crazed psychos really the best way to do that? And if the point is to get men to buy and drink more milk, then, again, associating it with lady problems probably isn’t the best idea. But if nothing else, we suppose we should be grateful that the ads aren’t appealing to men with pictures of women deep-throating seven-inchers.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2011