How the California Milk Processor Board is making milk cool again

Inside the board's nine-day skate park pop-up.

Skateboarding influencer Chris Cole for the California Milk Processor Board
Skateboarding influencer Chris Cole for the California Milk Processor Board

Campaign: Bones Love Milk
Company: California Milk Processor Board
Agency partner: Rox United (PR)
Duration: Jul 27 - Aug 4, 2019

The California Milk Processor Board, a nonprofit funded by California dairy processors, invited tweens and teens to a skate park pop-up in Huntington Beach, California.

Strategy
It’s a tough era for dairy processors - milk consumption in the U.S. is declining, in part because the market is flooded with milk alternatives, such as oat and almond milk, said Lisa Ruiz-Rogers, MD at Rox United.

"There is a lot more competition," she said.

To help reverse this trend, the California Milk Processor Board wanted to develop a campaign that spoke to tweens and teenagers. Milk consumption is high in households with young children, but significantly drops off in homes with the targeted age group.

This dip represented a growth opportunity, provided the board could find a way to connect with the youths, Ruiz-Rogers said. The question the board had to answer was: How do you make milk feel cool again?

Working with Rox, the board created an event-based campaign targeted at young California skateboarders. The golden state has 1.6 million of them, 70% of whom are under the age of 18.

Tactics
The campaign’s website, boneslovemilk.com, and social media hashtags were soft launched in early 2018, Ruiz-Rogers said. But planning for the actual event - and surrounding PR push - didn’t begin until April 2019.

The board and Rox created an indoor skateboard pop-up in Huntington Beach, California, which was open to the public for nine days.

The nonprofit employed a team of skateboarders who gave free tutorials. Skateboard influencers, such as Chris Cole and Christian Hosoi, were also on-hand to meet fans and pose for photos. Throughout all the activity, a "bartender" created and served a variety of milk-based beverages. 

Rox began reaching out to media outlets for calendar listings a month prior to the event’s kickoff. Online entertainment and lifestyle outlets were pitched roughly two weeks out. On July 24, three days prior to the event, the board hosted 175 people at the skate park for a VIP media event.

On social media, the board deployed a small army of microinfluencers, including Spencer Nuzzi, Jennifer Charlene and Hilary Shanks, to generate attention and interest by posting about the event.

The campaign was mainly built around Instagram as that is where the targeted audience is, explained a campaign representative.

Results
Over its nine-day run, the skate park pop-up was attended by more than 2,000 people.

The campaign received a flurry of media attention from national outlets, such as People, Yahoo, The Los Angeles Times and OK! Magazine, as well as trade publications like Transworld Skateboarding. The campaign generated more than 568 media placements. 

The boneslovemilk.com received 25,600 visits. On Instagram, the campaign garnered 62,000 engagements via comments and likes. It also received 567,950 Instagram Stories views. On Snapchat, the campaign garnered 52,519 video views.

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