This campaign promotes Silk brand soymilk using actors wearing cow heads. Each TV spot has these people talking about the health benefits of Silk soymilk. There are five spots featuring Frank, Connie, Amanda, Sandy and Maxine each of whom has a different take on why they drink Silk Soymilk. Each spot ends after the brief monologue with the tagline, “Silk. Beyond nutrition.” Each character also has a print ad associated with them.
This campaign relies primarily on :15 second spots which make their point and move on quickly, so pacing is not an issue. The cow heads on humans is a memorable execution. The copy of these spots is also punchy and promotes soy milk and soy protein from different points of view. Branding in these spots is good with multiple product shots of the Silk Soymilk carton.
Using fake but memorable cows to endorse Silk Soymilk creates several problems in this campaign which are both strategic and tactical.This advertising blog has not been supportive of this trend in general (see our reviews of the Dasani spots here, for example), but the issues are different in this case. The primary issue is that there is a significant potential for confusion and misattribution. Since the strongest association of cows is with cows milk, some consumers may not initially understand the brand proposition if they are watching the cows heads more than listening to the copy.
The cows may also cause cognitive dissonance for vegetarians who are an important core target for Silk Soymilk. Even if they intellectually understand that Silk is making a strong pitch for non-dairy alternatives, vegetarians may be put off by the association of cows with the vegan product they consume daily.
This is category advertising as the spots position soymilk to be preferable to cowsmilk. While this may help the soymilk grow awareness, It is less likely to sell Silk over another brand of soymilk. As the largest brand, this tactic is appropriate since the greater opportunity for Silk may be converting new users from cow’s milk rather than increasing share against other brands.
The tonality of these spots is questionable. They were created to sound chatty and informal but may strike some consumers as patronizing or annoying.
Branding Bottom Line:
Thanks Silk – we didn’t know that Cows were producing soy milk.