Dairy, once a surefire fridge staple, is losing relevance. A striking decline across the dairy industry – caused by trade disputes, historically low milk prices and increasing competition from dairy alternatives – ultimately caused significant category-wide losses. This pushed many dairy farmers to a financial breaking point and led many more to feel isolated and left behind.
Our challenge was to rebuild consumer trust and relevancy for the struggling dairy community and the good products they create. But with the majority of the population living in urban and suburban settings, we knew it would be hard for people to relate to farm families and the good food they produce.
Since consumers couldn’t relate to the dairy industry and its efforts, we used a laser-focused strategy to evolve the “Undeniably Dairy” campaign and showcase the real people behind the category: America’s hard-working dairy farmers.
With dairy losing relevance at a breakneck speed, how do you rebuild at a category-wide level? Beginning with a proprietary survey, we found out just how much people were feeling disconnected from where their food is made. We knew we needed to facilitate a human connection between farmers and consumers, giving them a chance to see each other as real people.
As part of our “Undeniably Dairy” campaign, we created experiences for people to “Connect to What’s Real,” bringing them face-to-face with dairy farmers and proving we all have more in common with farmers than we may have previously thought.
We focused on reaching “conflicted health seekers,” a moveable group of health-minded individuals and kicked off our efforts by creating two experiences in New York where the cultural melting pot of New York City residents could meet with dairy farmers face-to-face.
We also partnered with media, notably podcasts and long-form outlets, which inherently help people really dig in and connect. We shared and amplified in-depth, gripping stories that let consumers easily draw parallels between farmers’ values and their own.
- Our efforts secured more than 271 million impressions and more than 72 million video views.
- Among our audience, purchase intent for dairy alternatives (e.g., plant-based milks) decreased 6 percent.
- Our podcast collaborations in particular led to a significant lift in the perceptions of dairy that are most linked to building trust in the industry, including: “dairy farmers treat their cows humanely” (25 percent increase) and “dairy farmers take care of the land and the environment” (14 percent increase).