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"Ok2Milk" Campaign: Queen Latifah Takes a Stand Against Milk Shaming

USA 15.11.2023
Source: Plant Based News
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A recent advertisement funded by the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) featuring Queen Latifah has sparked controversy by claiming that individuals are being unfairly "shamed" for choosing to drink milk.
"Ok2Milk" Campaign: Queen Latifah Takes a Stand Against Milk Shaming
Erik Pendzich / Alamy Stock Photo

The satirical ad, part of the "Ok2Milk" campaign, humorously portrays scenarios where people are supposedly subjected to ridicule for their milk-drinking choices. Queen Latifah narrates instances such as a date leaving a restaurant over a milk order, a baseball mom facing judgment for serving chocolate milk, and a city council candidate being smeared for drinking milk at a college party.

This marketing approach follows a trend of celebrity endorsements for dairy, with previous ads, like Aubrey Plaza's Wood Milk commercial, drawing criticism for mocking plant-based milks.

The campaign's attempt to depict dairy drinkers as victims comes at a time when consumer preferences are shifting, with surveys indicating a growing preference for plant-based milks. Younger consumers, in particular, are choosing alternatives due to ethical and environmental concerns, resulting in a 20% decline in dairy milk consumption among Gen Z compared to the national average.

MilkPEP, recognizing the changing landscape, aims to connect with a younger audience through celebrity endorsements. Queen Latifah, renowned for her achievements in music and acting, was considered a perfect fit for the campaign, according to Winston Binch, chief brand and experience officer for GALE, the creative agency commissioned by MilkPEP.

Despite the declining popularity of dairy, the dairy industry continues its efforts to maintain influence. Federal subsidies and advertising, backed by significant financial contributions to members of Congress, have been longstanding strategies. The "Milk Shaming" campaign, similar to its predecessor, comes with a dedicated website and hotline for those who claim to be victims of milk shaming.

The website defines "milk shaming" as a "ridiculous reaction to someone enjoying a beloved drink," emphasizing that 92% of American households consume dairy milk.

However, critics argue that the campaign overlooks the ethical concerns associated with dairy production, including the separation of calves from their mothers and the selective breeding of cows, leading to health issues. As an alternative, consumers are encouraged to explore a variety of plant-based milk options, ranging from oat and pea to soy and potato, to align with their values and avoid the potential negative impacts of dairy milk.

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