Goodby Embraces Criticism Of New Milk Campaign

With criticism of its new “Milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS” campaign all over the web, Goodby Silverstein & Partners has shifted tactics. The campaign’s website, EverythingIDoIsWrong.org, now points to GotDiscussion.org. The site links to many of the articles and blog posts that discussed the campaign, and also provides a forum for more people to comment.

The New York Times has more:

Jeff Goodby, the co-chairman with Rich Silverstein at Goodby, Silverstein, said he was “surprised” by the firestorm the campaign produced. “It’s certainly more controversial than we expected it to be,” Mr. Goodby said. “After three days, this thing was off the hook.”

What’s interesting here is not just that the agency and client are responding to criticism, but that they’re still hanging with the premise of the campaign and the scientific research behind its strategy. Obviously, the tonality of the work struck a lot of people the wrong way, but there was a real point of differentiation behind the thinking. We don’t see a lot of ad campaigns that hinge on a core fact anymore, and clearly Goodby and their clients think it’s still a valid appeal. Many other clients would drop the matter as quick as possible when faced with similar heat.

And the article points out something I didn’t realize: Goodby used the strategy in a spot in 2005:

Of course, that was right before the big social media explosion.

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://twitter.com/MediaFiche MediaFiche

    Like that they are embracing the discussion. Always better tactic than the alternative of avoidance.

  • Whateva

    The past spot is significantly different than the current campaign, in that it is much more subtle for starters. It all actually goes to show that you can generate work off the same strategy, but go horribly wrong if you don’t consider the audience (and collateral audience).