Sadly But Predictably, Got Milk PMS Campaign Plugged

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Oh it's a dangerous road to travel when marketers decide to poke fun at, well, just about anything these days. As you have certainly heard, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created a Got Milk campaign called Everything I Do Is Wrong which highlighted the plight of men faced women women experiencing symptoms of PMS. The campaign payoff was the reference to research that found milk could mitigate the effects of PMS.

But even scientific fact couldn't save this campaign which has since been pulled by the California Milk Processor Board. Many people felt the campaign portrayed women in an unfavorable light leading many to believe they become raging lunatics every 28 days or so.

Any man who has lived with any woman for any period of time understand there's a modicum of truth to that portrayal. Of course that doesn't mean all women lose complete control and turn their men into losers who can't do anything right.

Unlike many, we have no problem with this campaign. Why? Because if we can't poke fun at ourselves, what's left? If we can't inject a bit of humor into our lives, we might as well all become monks. Oh wait, even they know how to have fun. If we can't take a moment and just chuckle, we're going to turn into a world filled with cause groups that will dumb us down to the point where we all turn into emotionless robotic automatons.

While both the California Milk Processor Board and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners are defending the campaign as a success, it has been pulled. In place of the campaign website is now a site called Got Discussion which, admirably, features mostly negative commentary on the campaign.

On the site, a statement reads, in part, "Over the past couple of weeks, regrettably, some people found our campaign about milk and PMS to be outrageous and misguided - and we apologize to those we offended."

Of the campaign's cancellation, California Milk Processor Board Executive Director Steve James said, "It certainly wasn't our intention to offend people. We regret that. No question, with some people we have stepped over the line. We certainly misjudged the heat generated by the people who thought we stepped over the line. There's no sense in keeping up a Web site that's like waving a red flag to some people."

And Goodby's Jeff Goodby said, "It's certainly more controversial than we expected it to be. After three days, this thing was off the hook. Rather than to continue the campaign, it's better to have this bigger discussion, which will get more readership."

All that can really be said of the campaign terms of success is that it is certainly getting plenty of notoriety and press which is half the battle when it comes to marketing and advertising. So, perhaps, it's a good thing this campaign received so many complaints and arrived at the point of cancellation. Perhaps both the California Milk Processor Board and Goodby, SIlverstein & Partners can quietly high five each other as they grin at all the publicity this thing has achieved. And perhaps those who were (and will be in the future) will finally realize the best way to make something go away is to say nothing at all.

by Steve Hall    Jul-22-11   Click to Comment   
Topic: Campaigns, Opinion   

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