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Milk gets 'in your face'

Cow-spotted milk cartons invaded the province of Ontario for an eight-week period beginning Sept. 30 as the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Canada, launched a special promotion to boost milk sales.

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At the filling machines in 21 out of 23 dairies in Ontario, all 250- and 500-mL gabletop cartons for chocolate and 2% milk aimed at schools, hospitals, and other foodservice outlets were replaced with cartons like the one shown here. Inserted into exactly 2꯯ of the cartons was a miniature device that causes a mooing sound when the carton is opened. Consumers opening such cartons win prizes ranging from a compact disc to a car. About 20 million of the spotted cartons were filled and shipped. The mooing ones were the responsibility of Bratch Goerhun & Partners, the Toronto agency that created the promotion. They filled 2꯯ winning cartons with a mooing device and with a bag of water so winners would look and feel exactly like the nonwinners. Then they seeded the winning cartons among production runs at the 21 dairies to get a good distribution of mooing cartons in each dairy's shipments. A television ad campaign and plenty of point-of-purchase material accompanied the promotion. "The aim is to have milk be more 'in your face,' to have it be perceived as competition for the sports drinks and new age beverages," says Nick Price-Owen, the assistant director of product promotion for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. He also pointed to a similar eight-week campaign his organization ran last year that raised total milk sales 2% over the same time frame a year earlier. "The 'event' quality of the promotion rubs off on other packages that are not part of the promotion," says Price-Owen.

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