Got Milk?

Got Milk?
The logo of the "Got Milk?" campaign.

Got Milk? is an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of cow's milk, which was created by the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board in 1993 and later licensed for use by milk processors and dairy farmers. It has been running since October 24, 1993. The campaign has been credited with greatly increasing milk sales in California[1] though not nationwide.[2]

Got Milk? is one of the most famous commodity brand campaigns in the United States.



The advertisements would typically feature people in various situations involving dry or sticky foods and treats such as cookies. The person then would find himself in an uncomfortable situation due to a full mouth and no milk to wash it down. At the end of the commercial the character would look sadly to the camera and boldly displayed would be the words, "Got Milk?"

The first Got Milk? advert ran on October 29, 1993, and featured a hapless history buff (played by Sean Whalen) receiving a call to answer a radio station's $10,000 trivia question (voiced by Rob Paulsen), "Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?" The man's apartment is shown to be a private museum to the duel, packed with artifacts. He answers the question correctly, but because his mouth is full of peanut butter and he has no milk to wash it down, his answer is unintelligible. The ad, directed by Hollywood director Michael Bay, was at the top of the advertising industry's award circuit in 1994.[3] From 1994 to 1995, fluid milk sales in the 12 regions totaled 23.3 billion pounds, and increased advertising expenditures amounted to $37.9 million. In 2002, the ad was named one of the ten best commercials of all time by a USA Today poll, and was run again nationwide that same year. It has since been featured in books on advertising and used in case studies.[citation needed]

The slogan "Got Milk?" was licensed to the National Milk Processor Board (MilkPEP) in 1995 to use on their celebrity print ads, which, since then, have included celebrities from the fields of sports, media and entertainment, as well as fictional characters from TV, video games, and film such as The Simpsons, Batman, Mario, The Powerpuff Girls posing in print advertisements sporting a "milk mustache," employing the slogan, "Where's your mustache?"

In 2006, the campaign went after a new demographic with a series of Spanish-language “Toma Leche?” or “Do you take/drink milk?” ads in which milk is touted as a "wonder tonic" with muscle and hair building qualities.[4]

According to the Got Milk? website, the campaign has over 90% awareness in the US and the tag line has been licensed to dairy boards across the US since 1995. Got Milk? is a powerful property and has been licensed on a range of consumer goods including Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels, baby and teen apparel, and kitchenware. The trademarked line has been widely parodied by groups championing a variety of causes. Many of these parodies use a lookalike rather than the actual persons used in the original Got Milk? adverts.

In 2008, the campaign capitalized on the poor economic condition of Americans and used financial adviser and talk show host, Suze Orman, in an effort to advertise milk as a smart and nutritious commodity to purchase.[5]

The voice saying "Got Milk?" at the end of each television ad is that of veteran voiceover actor Denny Delk.[6]

Some Got Milk? ads varied the slogan to say, "Got Chocolate Milk?"[7][8]

Parodies, imitations, mentions and merchandising

The slogan has appeared in numerous alternative versions on t-shirts, advertisements, and real advertisements. For the most part the California Milk Processor Board has ignored the alternative uses, although in 2007 it threatened lawsuit against PETA for its anti-dairy campaign, "Got pus", which began in 2002. By 2007, the slogan had become an international icon and the phrase has been parodied more than any other ad slogan.[9]

In 2004, the slogan was imitated by artist David Rosen, with the popular political design "Got Democracy?", in reaction to the Iraq war.[10][11]

Items with the “Got Milk?” logo printed on them became popular, including kitchen items (baby bibs, aprons, and dish towels), outdoor ads along high-traffic commuter routes, television spots, billboards, bus stops, and decals on grocery store floors. In 1998, the slogan “Got Milk?” campaign expanded to include the faces of celebrities. By adding the celebrity cachet, awareness of drinking milk has increased 90%.[citation needed]

A parody of the ad appears in the first season Futurama episode "Fear of a Bot Planet," stating: "Got milk? Then you're a human and must be killed."

In episode Holy Crap of Family Guy, the Griffins are watching a television commercial for the advertising campaign Got Milk?

Another parody can be seen in Sonic Adventure 2 on the various blimps in the city stages, which say "Got Ring?" on their sides.

In an episode of The Weekenders, a bus is seen with an ad on the side, featuring a picture of a goat and the phrase, "Goat milk?"

In an episode of Friends, Ross says he came up with the idea, stating "I should've written it down."

In one of the books of Pol Medina Jr.'s famous Pugad Baboy, a parody called "Got Beer?" was shown on the preface with Polgas, Dagul Sungcal, Tomas Sabaybunot, Bab Lamoun and Igno Ramos with beer fizz on their mouths.

In the season 2 opener of City Guys, El-Train drops a cookies in a briefcase in his line "Got Milk?" before he goes to jail with the boys on the episode, "Men Behind Bars".

In "The Passed-Over Story," an episode of "The Nanny" in 1997, Fran has cookies and milk when Mr. Sheffield and C.C. come in with a poster of a rival, C.C. rubs in how beautiful she is. Fran asks why C.C. is being so hurtful and goes on to guilt her into an apology. C.C. apologizes and walks away. When she's out of the room, Fran smiles, takes a sip of her milk, and says, "Got Guilt?".


  1. ^ Adve rtising Educational Foundation. "Got Milk? case history". Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  2. ^ "Marketing campaign case studies: Got Milk?". 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  3. ^ Aaron Burr Got Milk? The Inspiration Room
  4. ^ "Toma Leche?". 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  5. ^ "''Bio-Medicine'' "Suze Orman Joins got milk? Milk Mustache Campaign: New Ad Encourages Families To Invest in Milk's Nutritional Assets." Cassandra, Alev. Sept. 29,2008". Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Denny Delk". Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  7. ^ "Fun got milk? commercial". Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  8. ^ "Mountain Bike got milk? commercial". Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  9. ^ Erica Werner (2007-12-12). "Suit threatened over Got Milk? parody". USA Today. Associated Press. 
  10. ^ "Getting it on Their Chests" by Emily Sweeney. The Boston Globe, Thursday, February 26, 2004.[1]
  11. ^ Boston magazine cover, July 2004 [2].

External links

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