BC Dairy Foundation

Author:Mark Lane

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3236 Beta Avenue

Burnaby, British Columbia V5G 4K4


Telephone: (604) 294-3775

Fax: (604) 294-8199

Web site: www.bcdairyfoundation.ca


The BC Dairy Foundation (BCDF) was established in 1974 to promote milk consumption in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Dividing its resources between in-school educational efforts and mainstream media campaigns, the organization, like most milk marketers in Canada, primarily targeted adults in its advertising. For much of the 1980s and 1990s, however, rates of milk consumption in British Columbia, as in other parts of North America and the world, declined substantially. In 2003, enlisting agency Palmer Jarvis DDB (later referred to as DDB Canada, Vancouver), BCDF changed its marketing strategy and targeted teens and young adults in a bold, risky campaign called "Don't Take Your Body for Granted."

Rather than preaching to young people about the nutritional virtues of milk, "Don't Take Your Body for Granted" instead took the idea of bodily neglect to an absurdly humorous extreme. In TV, film, print, and outdoor advertisements, bodiless humans—beings made of heads attached directly to feet—were shown in ordinary situations that, without a body, were extremely difficult. For instance, a TV/film spot showed an elderly bodiless woman attempting to walk her small dog but instead being dragged through the streets of her neighborhood, and print ads featured such scenarios as a terrified head being toyed with by a cat and a befuddled male head looking up at an impossibly high public-restroom urinal. A companion website allowed users to create their own scenarios using the bodiless humans from the commercials. Despite a having budget of only $3 million a year during its 2003–04 run, the campaign was able to break through to its target market by using bold humor and memorable imagery.

"Don't Take Your Body for Granted" attracted favorable media attention and won numerous advertising awards. Milk consumption rates, which had been declining for roughly 20 years in British Columbia, increased by 1 percent in 2003.


Though many consumers in the English-speaking world associated milk advertising with the "Got Milk?" campaign that in the 1990s began running in California and then throughout the United States, advertising on behalf of regional and national consortiums of North American dairy farmers was a well-established practice prior to that campaign. The concept of depicting celebrities wearing milk mustaches (associated with a well-known U.S. campaign of the 1990s), in fact, was first used in the 1970s in a Canadian campaign called "Wear a Moustache,"

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A still from "Dog Walker," the television campaign launched by BC Dairy Foundation for their "Don't Take Your Body for Granted" campaign. Photo Courtesy of DDB Canada for BC Dairy Foundation. Reproduced by Permission. crafted by the Toronto office of ad agency Ogilvy & Mather for the Ontario Milk Marketing Board. Likewise, the Milk Calendar, first produced in 1976 by Toronto agency Allard Johnson for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (in partnership with the provincial milk boards of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and the Maritimes), featured milk-centric recipes and images of health and wellness and was distributed free to millions of daily-paper subscribers in Canada. The Milk Calendar became part of the fabric of Canadian culture, gaining the loyalty of multiple generations of Canadians and accounting for measurable increases in milk consumption upon its yearly release

The BC Dairy Foundation (BCDF) was established in 1974 to serve as the public voice of British Columbia's dairy producers and processors. A nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing milk consumption in that Canadian province, BCDF pursued its goal in two primary ways: by partnering with the provincial school system to educate children about the nutritional benefits of drinking milk, and by marketing and promoting fluid milk and cream in the province.

For most of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s Canadian milk advertising in all provinces...

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