Who: Dairy Farmers of Canada, with John St. for creative and Initiative for media.
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What: “Behind the logo,” an ad campaign to tackle negative perceptions about the dairy industry among younger consumers.

When & Where: The just-finished campaign launched in early December and the media buy ended this week. Media included online video, influencer content, social media, and in-store display.

Why: According to DFC, misinformation about the dairy industry is “rampant online,” particularly among younger consumers. The campaign was intended to tackle those myths while encouraging consumers to look for the Blue Cow logo and get them to associate it with high standards and quality.

“We wanted to really engage with our target audience—millennial and Gen-Z consumers—to confront myths and misconceptions about dairy and show them the exceptional standards of practice on Canadian dairy farms,” said Pamela Nalewajek, vice-president, marketing, DFC.

How: With some WTF humour. Two campaign consists of a pair of slice-of-life scenarios where the featured characters are surprised by a dairy farmer popping out from behind the DFC Blue Cow logo to deliver a fact about dairy farming. In one case, it’s a broken-hearted man spooning ice cream from the container. The blue cow logo suddenly swings open and a farmer appears. “Here’s a happy thought… Canadian cows aren’t allowed to be given artificial growth hormones,” he says, before offering some words of encouragement: “Don’t worry, she’ll call.”

In another, it’s a young man revving the engine of his ’70s era hot-rod (which no way passed its emissions test). This time, the dairy farmer pops out from behind the logo on a carton of milk on the dashboard. “Cool car, but those emissions aren’t. Fun fact, we are improving our cows’ nutrition to reduce their methane emissions.”

In both cases the characters are clearly confused by the unexpected visit. “We take [young consumers] behind the logo—literally—like a portal into the truth, so they can better appreciate our high standards of practice and leadership on sustainability,” said Nalewajek.

The campaign also included an interactive digital contest inviting consumers to hunt for the Blue Cow logo for a chance to win prizes.

And we quote: “Canadians already use the Blue Cow logo as a wayfinding device in-store to find and buy Canadian made dairy. So it felt almost obvious for us to take that highly recognizable and trusted symbol and use it to quite literally dispel myths surrounding Canadian dairy farming. After all, behind that logo are real Canadian dairy farmers who are innovating how dairy is farmed and are helping to set the standard globally.” — Cher Campbell, chief creative officer, John St.

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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