“rBST, hah, razor sharp horns. It’s so tall that it could eat clouds. You may want to pet it, but the fur is electric. And then it starts laughing.” This voice-over accompanies a monster rising out of a murky black screen, and the introduction reads “Arla Cheese asked kids: What is rBST?” The rBST monster is one of the first advertisements in Arla Cheese company’s “live unprocessed” campaign. The advertisement concludes with an image of a happy mother and her daughter sharing a sandwich that features Arla’s product while the ad’s voice-over chimes in. “rBST is an artificial growth hormone given to some cows, but not the cows that make Arla cheese. No added hormones; no weird stuff.” The irony comes on the second to last frame of the ad when the small print appears reading, “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST treated cows.” The Denmark-based dairy cooperative . . . yes, a dairy farmer-owned cooperative . . . does nothing short of vilify an FDA-approved technology. Even for producers who don’t use rBST or find this to be a moot point, the topic of advertisements designed this way is an important talking point. To the consumer, what’s the difference between rBST and antibiotics? What’s the difference between rBST and unnatural robots harvesting the milk? What’s the next technology in their food that is not natural and, therefore, free game to equate to a monster? In the dairy industry, we talk again and again about banding together to sell more product to more people. Advertisements such as this one move in the opposite direction while taking the legs out from under the producers who work hard to find technologies that benefit the farm and provide high-quality products.
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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017
May 8, 2017