Marketing To Latinos: A Guide to the In-Culture Approach Part 2
Part 2 Case Studies | Part 1 Case Studies
  CASE STUDY: Got Milk?®
California Milk Processor Board

    NOTE: no advertising media is available for this case study. Please contact the agency directly if you would like additional information.


In 1993, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) launched what was to become one of the best known campaign in advertising history…GOT MILK? In early 1994 they expanded their efforts to include a Hispanic marketing program. One of the first questions raised was the relevance and marketing leverage of GOT MILK?

Strategic research indicated that the Milk Deprivation Strategy and GOT MILK? were not a strong fit with Hispanics. Running out of rice or milk was not considered funny (quite the opposite) and GOT MILK? could have been misinterpreted to mean "Are you lactating?" In addition, the foods used in the English-language campaign (peanut butter, chocolate brownies) were not always relevant for Latino audiences.

Hispanic Campaign/Key Lessons

Milk usage patterns differ between Hispanics and the general market population. The general market strategy recognized that milk is seldom a stand-alone beverage and its consumption is linked to a select number of meals and food occasions. Research clearly indicated that Hispanics already loved milk and were heavy users of it, felt it was highly nutritious and were drinking more than the general population, especially whole milk.

Most importantly, it revealed that Hispanics used milk extensively in scratch cooking and passed treasured, milk-based recipes from generation to generation. Not surprisingly, grandmothers played a pivotal role in the Hispanic family.

Thus was born the Generations Strategy and the Spanish-language theme line "Have you given them enough milk today?" This campaign encouraged Hispanics to consume more milk by dramatizing the unique and crucial role that milk plays in the Latino family. The campaign was focused on milk recipes as a way to drive incremental milk usage.

The campaign received tremendous response, both from consumers and the business press. Ongoing research indicated that it was recalled, understood and deeply appreciated. While it was not possible to break out Hispanic milk sales, feedback from retailers and processors was extremely positive and a tracking study showed that consumption was stable to growing slightly.

Campaign Extensions

Beyond the television and outdoor executions of the "Generations" campaign,a recipe booklet was developed and promoted through a direct response commercial. The response was phenomenal. The first press run of 5,000 booklets were gone in the first few hours, with 400,000 printed for additional requests. Recipe cards were also available in supermarket aisle displays where they were equally popular.

Evolution of the Campaign

In 2000 research indicated that the campaign needed to evolve. The tag line was changed to "Familia, Amor Y Leche" or "Family, Love and Milk." This tag line gave the campaign a very broad base and encompassed adults and young children, drinking and recipe usage and reinforces a strong nutritional message. Research indicated that this line clearly and powerfully positioned milk in the Latino family and community.

In 2001 the campaign was broadened another notch to include men, specifically fathers. A new television spot featured a dad and his daughter shopping for ingredients for a milk dessert (three milk cake) in a supermarket. This nontraditional pairing reflects the acculturation process and shifting gender roles within the Latino community.

Complementing the television commercials, an outdoor campaign using the artwork of youngsters was created as a result of the new theme line. In a state-wide contest, Hispanic children submitted their interpretations of the campaign tag line. The winners have had their artwork showcased in the outdoor boards and received public recognition for their accomplishments.


After years of steady decline, total milk consumption in California stabilized. Awareness of the "Familia, Amor Y Leche" campaign is very high among Hispanics and the Milk Usage Tracking Study indicates that Hispanic milk consumption is consistently and significantly higher than the general population.

Agency: Anita Santiago Advertising, Inc.