July 7 2022 02:17 PM

Michigan dairy farmers put promotion dollars to work with urban and suburban Millennials and Gen Z.

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

For years, Michigan dairy farmers and the Detroit Pistons have gone together like cookies and milk, entertaining and inspiring consumers through their mutually beneficial relationship.

But beginning last year and carrying over into 2022, these partners stepped up their game to exponentially amplify the benefits of dairy foods with influential and diverse generational audiences.

Thanks to the ‘You’re Gonna Need Milk for That’ community-driven campaign to drive brand recognition and leverage United Dairy Industry of Michigan’s (UDIM) partnership with Detroit Pistons’ standout Saddiq Bey, millions of people saw a new side to the relationship – one that focuses on brand exposure, product differentiation and community.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to invest dairy promotion dollars in an area of the state where a significant number of people live and work. We’re tapping into the power and reach of the Detroit Pistons’ megaphone to share dairy’s message on behalf of farmers with the next generation of consumers,” explains Dwyer Williams, UDIM CEO.

The elevated program featured billboards, in-arena signage, photo ops, game-day activities, branded swag, community events, social media and more to help amplify the nutritional and performance benefits of milk.

It worked! Targeted digital ads and social media posts yielded more than 8.3 million impressions during the campaign. And a series of billboards along I-96 yielded more than 12 million impressions.

Ultimately, the outreach created unique moments to position milk as top-of-mind among athletes, amateurs and youth across Detroit, southeast Michigan and beyond.

Leveling up

“We’ve applied this campaign to engage with Millennials and Generation Z, and take dairy’s message to another level,” says Brenden Mallette, Detroit Pistons Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Engagement. “We’re using ‘partnership with purpose’ to leverage the power and passion of our organizations to reach consumers and their communities.”

The collaboration helps consumers understand dairy foods are a powerful combination of natural nutrients that aid muscle repair, rehydration and replenishment, while also helping to build strong bones and support immune health. And it delivers a fun, energized message in the ways people want to receive it.

Through events, hot chocolate giveaways and other tactics like an interactive photo booth, the campaign is a connective journey for fans where they are to support the Pistons and UDIM with the ‘You’re Gonna Need Milk for That’ campaign. This has been done in a way that’s disruptive to the marketplace, yet memorable, engaging, authentic and energizing for audiences.

While the current Pistons’ season is over, the campaign lives on. Another high school gym renovation is in the works and this partnership will be on display during additional planned community outreach events.

“There are so many facets to this partnership as it grows and evolves,” says Williams. “It’s exciting to see where it will go and how it will help shape the next generation of consumer perceptions and purchases. Efforts like these help us bridge the gap and share dairy’s dynamic message with our consumers where they live.”

To learn more about the dairy checkoff or how you can be involved in promoting dairy in your community, go to milkmeansmore.org.