‘Got Milk?’ retires

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

The 20-year-old campaign slogan “Got Milk?” and its accompanying milk-mustache posters have now officially been retired. The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) announced that it plans to implement a new tagline for its advertising campaign, signaling the end of an era.

The “Got Milk?” advertising campaign was first created for MilkPep in 1993, and emerged as printed ads in 1994. Over the campaign’s 20 years of existence, around 300 celebrities have been featured on “Got Milk?” posters, according to The New York Daily.

The first celebrity to be photographed with the mustache was Naomi Campbell, considered by many to be one of the five original supermodels. Over the years, the famous faces in the beloved ads have also included Rupert Grint, Beyoncé Knowles, Reggie Bush and Mike Myers as Austin Powers.

This campaign was successfully used across the globe. Children and adults were able to view these advertisements of celebrities sporting milk mustaches in school cafeterias, as magazine ads and even online. It appealed to people across various demographics, reaching out to music-lovers, fashionistas, sports fans and television viewers. The celebrities chosen represented different ages, ethnicities and political backgrounds.

Students have expressed varied opinions over the change in advertising. “I am outraged. Those commercials and those posters were the sole reason I have strong bones,” said Ryan Cone, a freshman biology major. Cone then grew more serious, noting the importance of the various vitamins and nutrients found in milk. “Adults know that kids need milk,” Cone said. “Kids don’t always know this, and celebrities help kids realize the importance of milk.”

MilkPEP began a new advertising campaign on Monday, Feb. 24. The new campaign slogan, “Milk Life,” is aimed at showcasing the nutritional benefits of milk, as previous campaigns have done.

The images used in the campaign feature action shots of people and a spray of milk splashed across the page. One shot depicts a young girl jumping into a pool with wings of milk splayed out behind her. Another shows a break dancer with milk emanating from his turning legs.

Lakelyn Taylor, a freshman communications and Spanish double major, voiced her concern over the new ads.

“To me, the original was much more realistic because it showed real life people with a milk mustache showing that you can be successful just by drinking milk,” Taylor said. “I feel like the animation (in the new ads) makes it less realistic.”

For many students currently enrolled at The University of Southern Mississippi, these advertisements are old enough to be their classmates. The familiar mustached faces will be missed as the milk industry attempts to moo-ve in a new direction.