Arts & Entertainment, Business, Science & Tech

got milk?

Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein

Lesson time 10:40 min

Jeff and Rich tell the history of the “got milk?” campaign, from the inception of the idea to a detailed behind-the-scenes look at how they shot their iconic ad “got milk?: Aaron Burr.”

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: The Idea • The Pitch • The Aaron Burr Commercial • A Piece of Popular Culture


[PERCUSSIVE MUSIC PLAYING] - Got Milk?, probably one of the most famous things we've ever done here. We'll take you through how it came about, the production process, the thinking behind it. - It's a good story. Stick by. - Tom, can I make a suggestion? You're fired! [HORN HONKING] [ETHEREAL MUSIC PLAYING] WOMAN: Welcome to eternity. [MUSIC PLAYING] Rivers flow low. - Mm. Heaven! Yes! Hm. Hm. Milk! Wait a minute. Where am I? NARRATOR: Got milk? [PERCUSSIVE MUSIC PLAYING] - It started with a guy named Jeff Manning, who was an account guy that I worked with at J. Walter Thompson. And he became the director of a thing called the California Fluid Milk Processors. And it was like an industry board that was created-- a terrible name, you know. It was created to advertise milk, like in cartons-- not yogurt, not cheese, not sour cream, just plain old milk. - Now milk was for years-- "Milk does a body good." That was the theme line. So you ran a 100-yard dash-- ba, ba, ba, ba, ba-- and that wasn't working. - Everybody knew that milk was good for you, and yet they were not drinking it. So we had to think of, like, a new way to get into this thing. And we had this brilliant planner at our place named Jon Steel. And he was doing a focus group where a woman said, you know, the only time I notice milk is if I run out of it. And he came back to the office, and he said, this is actually pretty brilliant. The absence of the product actually sold the product. It was crazy. OK. So we got our presentation ready. And before the meeting, one of his planners came up to me and said, what should I put on this foam core board where we talk about deprivation of milk? And I said, I don't know. Why don't you put, like, "Got Milk?" with a question mark? And she said, I think it would be better if it said "Got Enough Milk" because that's what we're really talking about here. And I said, no, I kind of like it really short. Just put "Got Milk?" on it. So she put it on, Got Milk?, and put it up there. And we talked about it. But during the meeting I thought, I wonder if that could be a tagline for this. It's so weirdly short and so, like, catchy and so much a T-shirt. When I showed Rich Got Milk? for the first time, he thought it was stupid. He said, that's it? That's it? I said, well, that's what's interesting because it's kind of simple. And he was like, that's it? - That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. That is so clumsy. It was brilliant. My-- my part of that, after he wrote Got Milk?, is that I thought it should have a voice. And I talk to people about typography and how important type has a voice. And a bunch of the young people in the office didn't want-- they just wanted to set it in Helvetica and make it quiet. And Jeff and I intuitively felt it needed an identity. Got Milk? had to have a voice. And so I set this quirky type, you know. I look at a bu...

About the Instructor

As the minds behind the “got milk?” campaign, the Budweiser lizards, and countless other ads that have permeated pop culture, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein never stop reimagining the possibilities of advertising. Now they’re sharing how they make the beautiful and edgy work that’s seen by millions. Learn how to come up with great ideas, tell funny and compelling stories, and dazzle at your next pitch or presentation.

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Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein

Advertising icons Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein teach you how to break rules, change minds, and create the best work of your life.

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