25 years ago, marketers for the rather benign product “milk” sought to find ways to make the item more noteworthy. A brainstorming/strategy session led to the concept that maybe the best approach would be to discover what life would be like to live without it. Individuals were retained to participate in “deprivation” market research in which they were asked to go without milk for a period of time. The net discovery was that many people actually have emotional connections to milk, partly because of how many items are consumed along with it (cake, cookies, dinner, breakfast, etc.). The Got Milk? campaign was born.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read the Fast Company article. Describe the connections between emotional attachment to the product (milk) and the endorsers (celebrities) in terms of creating an effective communication strategy.
  2. What the 50 top ads. Describe the role the humor plays in creating memorable, effective ads for an everyday product (i.e., how was the approach able to succeed at such a high level?).
  3. Watch the Neuromarketing video. Explain the role cognitive neuroscience can play in explaining the effectiveness of the deprivation approach to market research and the commercials that resulted.
  4. Identify other products (think mobile phones) that you believe might benefit from deprivation research and explain why it might work for them.

About Dr. Donald Baack

Co-author of textbook.

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