I worked with the Liquid Packaging division of International Paper for many years. They printed small milk cartons for school lunch programs. For the side panels, their previous agency created a cartoon character called Rudy (the rabid?) Raccoon. Rudy was their resident spokesrodent, espousing health and nutrition tips.
My response? “Um, don’t you think there might be some extremely popular cartoon properties out there that would jump on the chance to contribute helpful advice to kids on four billion milk cartons?”
Thus MilkMedia was born. We were instantly successful, creating side panel programs that kids, parents and school administrators went bonkers for, featuring iconic characters like Disney’s Doug, Carmen Sandiego, Tony the Tiger and The Powerpuff Girls.
MilkMedia was dedicated to promoting health, nutrition, ecology, and positive social values for school age children. At the peak of our distribution we shipped over six billion messages to schools nationwide. We also distributed lunchroom posters and in-school POP material.
Our partners included: Activision, Bratz, Build a Bear, Campbell’s, Cartoon Network, Cranium, Digimon, Disney, Fox Kids, Gibson Guitars, Girl Scouts of America, Hasbro, Heinz, Humongous Entertainment, Kraft, Kelloggs, Nintendo, Major League Baseball, National Football League Play 60, Nickelodeon, Pokemon, PBS, Scholastic, Staples, Sony, Topps, Warner Brothers, Wii and Xbox.
In order to reach older kids who had turned away from milk, we created a new program called Milk Rocks, featuring messages from Justin Beiber, Demi Lovato, Maroon 5, Rascal Flatts, Plain White T’s–virtually every pop star that appealed to our tween target audience.
In 2012, we reached a fork in the road with our distribution partner, Evergreen Packaging, who printed and shipped the cartons. They wanted to promote paper recycling (a noble goal), yet we felt strongly that the message space was more beneficial to kids as a venue to promote positive values. In our final year, I was in the process of creating a more ambitious campaign, partnering with Michele Obama’s school nutrition program.
I donated our remaining inventory (billions of impressions) in support of anti-bullying campaigns. It remains a cause near and dear to my heart, as I’m the proud father of a frequently bullied autistic teenager.
You can read more about her amazing journey at: Emma’s Hope Book.
What’s the best media buy in today’s ad-saturated marketplace? Whatever works.
We like cable TV. Drive-time radio. We get great numbers at a great cost. We like special interest vertical print. We get to the people that we want to reach, with a media they actually enjoy. Most of all, we like reaching who we want to reach with as little waste as humanly possible.
We love reach. We hate waste. That’s our media philosophy. There is no cookie cutter approach. Each strategic positioning statement we create for our clients is as unique as a DNA fingerprint. So is every media plan.