Getting Wisconsin Cheese and dairy products featured on television is a big initiative for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW). By engaging with authentic advocates like national television broadcasters, Food Network chefs, and popular lifestyle experts who share our love for award-winning Wisconsin cheese varieties, we achieve many “free” and powerful stories that help grow the demand for our products with consumers nationwide. These advocates give our state’s cheese instant credibility and heightened attention, which drives retail sales across the U.S.

Celebrity endorsements boost brand awareness

In October, "The Kelly Clarkson Show" accepted our pitch to feature Liz Thorpe, national cheese expert and author, for an interview on wine and Wisconsin cheese pairings during the winter holidays. Recently, DFW arranged broadcasts in June, showcasing the many uses for Wisconsin cheese.

Chef Kevin Gillespie, an Atlanta restaurateur and former "Top Chef" contestant, appeared on more than 2,000 news segments across the nation, mostly on morning and lifestyle shows. Gillespie, who is a James Beard Award finalist, shared recipes using Wisconsin cheeses — aged Cheddar and Blue cheese, varieties he has used in his restaurants for years — that also displayed the “Proudly Wisconsin” branding. He mentioned several Wisconsin cheesemakers by name and explained how to arrange a summertime cheese board by using cheese with the Proudly Wisconsin badge.

These celebrity mentions and endorsements of our Proudly Wisconsin Cheese and dairy products immediately add value and brand awareness. When a local or national celebrity mentions or showcases a product, an element of legitimacy is suddenly present in the products produced using your milk, simply because of the power of the name backing it up.

In the last fiscal year, DFW efforts reached more than 400 million American viewers to share messages about Wisconsin cheeses. The media outreach prompted broadcast airings in all 50 states, educating about Wisconsin’s cheese heritage and commitment to excellence, while identifying the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese badge.

With 90% of the state’s cheese sold outside of Wisconsin, DFW coordinated nationwide broadcast media campaign by tapping into the growing interest in foodie culture — cooking shows, food blogs, podcasts, and farm-to-fork eateries. National public relations efforts earned $40 million in unpaid media, a marketing term that measures the value of the media stories as if they were paid with advertising dollars.

This outreach leads to a growing awareness and desire of consumers nationwide to seek out the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese badge at their local retail location. This growth in demand for the award-winning cheese made in America’s Dairyland increases the need for your high-quality milk. View all the earned publicity at www.wisconsindairybuzz.com.

About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. Follow us on Facebook and sign up for the farmer newsletter at WisconsinDairy.org to learn more about your dairy checkoff. 

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2020
August 17, 2020
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