'Milk Your Diet' Effort Touts Weight-Loss Benefits

New research concluding that 24 ounces of low-fat or fat-free milk every 24 hours in a reduced-calorie diet yields calcium and protein to support healthy weight loss has proven fortuitous for the Milk Processor Education Board.

The nation's milk processors have begun their “24/24 Milk Your Diet. Lose Weight!” ad campaign, mainly targeting women ages 25-54, as part of MilkPEP's effort to boost milk consumption.

“The root of it all is about generating sales growth in white milk, which is their core volume, and getting the word out on this compelling new reason to drink milk,” said Colin Kennedy, vice president and account director at Draft Chicago, MilkPEP's agency.

The agency and its Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. sister shops — Lowe Worldwide, Weber Shandwick Chicago and ID Media — as well as its Draft Health unit handle the campaign. It complements the more famous “Got Milk? Milk Mustache” effort from Lowe, riding piggyback on a 100-city “Got Milk?” mobile tour.

The “24/24 Milk Your Diet. Lose Weight” effort encompasses television, print, booklets for in-store distribution, coupons, banner ads, online sweepstakes and a Web site. All ads aim to boost consumption and drive traffic to www.2424milk.com.

U.S. per-capita milk consumption was 21.9 gallons in 2002, according to MilkPEP. Overall, 54.34 billion pounds of milk were sold in the United States in 2002 (One gallon is 8.6 pounds.). MilkPEP wants to boost those figures as milk faces increasing competition from other beverages like soft drinks and coffee.

Draft Chicago began distributing the first of 13 million 24/24 Weight Loss Guides this month through an in-store shipper stand holding the materials. The customized guide, produced in collaboration with Shape magazine, is free with any milk purchase. The booklet has an exercise section from the editors of Shape and coupons worth more than $200 for health-related products and services.

The second wave of the campaign is the “Show Off With the Top Down” sweepstakes. MilkPEP will give away 24 Volkswagen Beetle convertibles in 24 days from mid-July through mid-August. Consumers are asked to enter milk package UPC codes on 2424milk.com. The sweepstakes creates an opt-in online database of consumers MilkPEP can communicate with.

In other components, banner ads at www.WebMD.com will link directly to 2424milk.com. Public relations support, which began in December, from Weber Shandwick Chicago will spread awareness.

Print ads feature talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw and actress Kelly Preston, emphasizing milk's role in weight loss.

Lowe's commercials draw attention to milk's weight-reducing features. A 10-second tag directs viewers to 2424milk.com and the sweepstakes. Four TV ads will have run by year's end. MilkPEP's “24/24 Milk Your Diet. Lose Weight” slogan appears in all media for the campaign.

“We wanted to get the news out in the early part of summer when people are shocked at looking at the swimsuit in their closet,” Kennedy said.

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