Lots of relationship humor and a few TV commercials plumb the challenges of PMS for both the sufferer and her loved ones.
Now, the California Milk Processor Board is suggesting that a few glasses of milk might help the whole scourge go away — or at least be more tolerable — not only for the sufferer, but for the longsuffering (read: men).
The new “Everything I Do Is Wrong” campaign, which breaks today, represents the latest attempt by America's biggest dairy marketing co-op to position their staple product as a nutritional aid rather than an obstacle.
They have tried to use scientific research to persuade consumers that certain types of dairy-based diets can actually assist weight loss, for instance, and that chocolate milk is a highly effective post-workout “recovery drink.”
The California folks are returning to a theme they first used in 2005 — with a commercial showing men buying up all the milk, with the sub-text that the calcium in milk is a significant PMS palliative — with a campaign that is humorous but pulls no punches. “I’m sorry I read between the wrong lines” and “Let’s both agree to disagree with me” are among the quips used in the campaign. Social-media tools include a tongue-in-cheek “Video Apology Enhancer.”
As the New York Times' Stuart Elliott notes, using a male perspective is a "cheeky tack of addressing itself to the men in women’s lives, on the grounds that women are not the only ones affected by premenstrual syndrome." The use of .org on the campaign's website also reinforces the quasi-PSA tone of the tongue-in-cheek self-help campaign.
Of course, these are the same people who many years ago brought America the iconic “Got Milk?” ads, which continues to feature a variety of celebrities sporting milk mustaches. The problem with the ongoing “Got Milk” theme, however, is that it never really moved the needle on milk sales and consumption, especially with younger consumers.
Because it involves the significant others of PMS sufferers, this new campaign skips the teen demographic altogether and pursues adult Americans. And for once, it's not just mom who's the target of the "buy milk!" messaging.
It may be too late to make milk consumption a daily habit again with kids who’ve been raised on juice, water, soy milk, soft drinks and even coffee, the California board might be thinking, but there are still plenty of 30-year-olds and boomers who value drinking their glasses of milk — and hopefully remember to spread that message to their kids.
Still, there are those (such as Elizabeth Flock of the Washington Post) who find the campaign offensive — or in her words, "It comes across as sexist. Really sexist." Agree?