The whole milk campaign begin when in 1993 and was the result of more than 20 years of declining milk consumption in California. So milk processors from all over the state banded together to do something about it (California Milk Advisory Board). The result? The now famous and wildly successful "got milk?" campaign was the result. Featuring all sorts of celebrites with milk moustaches in newspapers.

I suppose its not suprising that such a crazy campaign would get its roots in the Golden State.

Jizz's writeup is correct after a point, but the full story goes deeper than this. It is certainly true that the advertising company Goodby Silverstein came up with the campaign for the California Milk Advisory Board, but it was the company's Andy Berlin who really began it after somehow getting hold of an unpublished chapter of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which Wonka says "Well now... they sure got milk." after two boys drown as the law of natural consequence takes hold. Berlin tells that enthusiasm for the phrase spread quickly after he introduced it at the first pitch meeting, and the rest is history.

It's a little-known (real, actual) fact that one of the early "Got Milk?" ads was directed by the now-famous Michael Bay, and it is a masterpiece of awkward moments. The whole campaign was almost undone because many in the company initially thought the phrase to be both overly simplistic and grammatically incorrect. The public cared little for that, loved the commercials and ensured the success of the campaign, so much so that years later the phrase and the connection to milk are still firmly cemented in American public awareness. The adverts have been parodied many times and many are the cultural references to them.

For LieQuest 2024: A Lie Quest of Mythologically Discordian Proportions, but (full disclosure…!) not all of this essay is false.

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