Dairy’s influence


I was watching TV the other night when an ad for Honey Nut Cheerios came on. It took place at a baseball game and showed a guy sitting in the stands eating cereal with milk pumped into his bowl via a beer-helmet-like device. Notice anything strange about this screenshot?:

Dairy Milk

The milk cartons are labeled “Dairy Milk.” Why? Do cow’s milk containers in the store ever read explicitly “dairy milk”? My guess is that the dairy industry is still angry that soy, nut, and rice beverages are allowed to be sold as “milk” and they somehow worked out a deal to get the generic cartons in this ad to specify “dairy milk” lest anyone think this guy would–*gasp*–be drinking soy milk.

Am I alone in my conspiracy theory here? I’d love to track down the firm behind this ad and ask them about it.

15 Responses to “Dairy’s influence”

  1. Becci

    I would say that there probably isn’t any kind of conspiracy, but knowing the dairy industry, maybe you’re right. That IS really strange. “Dairy milk”? That’s just weird sounding.

  2. Kelly Jaxin

    I am TOTALLY with you on the conspiracy theory! ;)

    Good catch on that, I don’t know if I would have noticed.

  3. bazu

    well of course he wouldn’t be drinking soymilk! he’d grow breasts and turn into a homosexual tree-hugging communist, for god’s sake!

  4. Vance

    I’m with you – there’s no way this was a random addition. To get across the visual gag of a guy having milk in a beer helmet you want everything as direct and uncluttered as possible, i.e. “MILK.” Adding “Dairy” to it not only makes that less direct but adds a note of unreality which was apparently counterbalanced by the benefit($) of including it.

  5. amy

    i think it’s rather interesting. i think you’re on to something, as far as the whole conspiracy goes. the milk/animal eatting folks will do anything within their power to get you to eat/drink their products. look at how they have been telling people since the 1950’s about how good milk is for your bones and really too much milk leeches vital strong bone material out of your bones. you know those milk adds with famous people in them? well instead of just implying they are happy drinking milk, why not take a picture of one of them kneeling in front of a caged cow with their lips around the udders, and then see how the fuckers like milk then. puss and all, but i bet the milk industry doesn’t say anything about that little skeleton in the closet.

    oy. what fuckers.

  6. Lazurii

    Ha ha, good eye, Ryan! ‘Dairy Milk’ is so cumbersome to say and see, it is strange they put it in a commercial. Anyway, the general public equates milk with dairy milk already, so why be redundant? maybe it will draw attention to the fact that there are other ‘milks’ in the world.

  7. L. Hunter

    General public does associate milk with dairy. Who doesn’t? Vegans and lactose-intolerant were the first ones who started talking about “NON-dairy” milk alternatives. If there’s non-dairy milk then why can’t there be “dairy milk”? Sounds clumsy but they can’t really say “Milk from real cows freely roaming in the fields blah blah blah…” That would be very misleading advertising.

  8. girl least likely to

    i have to say, “dairy milk” is making that picture even more humorously absurd to me. i’m totally cracking up for some reason. but i agree with everyone who says it’s definitely on purpose. heaven forbid a person actually choose non-dairy milk for their cheerios!

    (p.s. the two words i have to type to submit this entry are “officials humping,” which is also making me laugh.)

  9. Chris

    I agree with you and everyone else that the word ‘dairy’ is absolutely there on purpose. Advertising is big business and every single detail of an ad like this is perfectly planned. To me though, ‘dairy milk’ is a misnomer because what it really should say is ‘cow’s milk’. But then that might turn people off, obviously not the point of the ad.

  10. Jenny Palmer

    Interesting conspiracy theory! I agree, that ad is really bizarre.

    But why would the dairy industry want to specify “dairy” milk when they refuse to acknowledge that soy milk is, in fact, milk? The dairy industry filed a lawsuit against the soymilk companies trying to prevent them from using the term “milk”, arguing they should say “soy beverage” instead. (As if cow’s milk is any more natural for human bodies than plant-based milk.) To the dairy industry, milk=dairy milk; no need for the “dairy”! Maybe after that failed lawsuit they are starting to worry and realizing they are fighting a losing battle!

  11. Vegan Sommelier

    I agree that it’s definitely identified as “dairy milk” on purpose… as to why they decided that this was a good idea, I have no clue.

    Then again, General Mills cereals (including Honey Nut Cheerios) recently did a cross-promotion with 8th Continent soymilk (not surprising, as 8th Continent is also owned by General Mills), wherein if you bought a box of the cereal, you could save a dollar on a carton of the soymilk… perhaps the dairy industry felt threatened, and therefore needed to retaliate by somehow negotiating to have the “milk” in this ad specified as “dairy milk”?

    Just one possible theory.

  12. etherean

    See, maybe it’s my wife and I saying “cow’s milk” all the time, which seems to irk her parents a little, but I see identifying the containers as “dairy milk” only serve to remind people that there are other things also called milk.

    I have no doubt that this was not their intention, and I do agree generally with the conspiracy theory idea, but my first thought is quite the opposite. it’s probably just me, though

  13. Vegan Sommelier

    I would imagine that the dairy industry would want to identify their product as “dairy milk”, as opposed to “cow’s milk”… while they would want viewers to be thinking of “milk” as having no possible meaning other than THEIR product, they certainly would not want to mention the cows… mustn’t have people thinking about that pesky little detail that there are, in fact, actual COWS involved in the production of cows’ milk. The dairy industry thrives on the ignorance of the public; they don’t want anyone to EVER have to think about the sentient beings involved in putting that so-called “food” on their tables.

  14. Vegan Sommelier

    Afterthought: Of course, when people do happen to think about the issue a little too much… realizing that cow’s milk must, in fact, be produced by cows before being taken away for consumption by humans… the dairy industry can always resort to putting their own “spin” on things; i.e. the blatantly false claim that these are “happy cows” who “give” us their milk, which they “make just for us.”

    It is so infuriating to see ads like that new commercial for Kraft cheese, wherein little cartoon cows fly around in planes, bringing packages of cheese to people’s houses so that parents can serve their children a grilled cheese sandwich instead of a PB&J. First, they state that the cows are “giving” the cheese to the humans, and then they state that this is because these cows are “on a mission” and “want to do us a favor”, because supposedly grilled cheese is a “healthier choice” than a PB&J. (Wow, three lies, all told within a 5-second span of time!) So the dairy industry does have ways of dealing with the issue when they start to worry about people thinking too much about the cows.

    On that note, I wanted to mention: Ryan, you did a wonderful job of addressing this issue in your post from June 20 (“On Fishing and Entitlement”).

    P.S. Interestingly, the two words that I am required to type before posting this are “educators please.” Seems quite fitting for this topic, doesn’t it?

  15. kelly

    It’s a good theory, but speaking as someone in the film industry, it’s entirely possible that it’s there for no reason other than to be a non-product placement. If you actually use a brand without permission you can get sued, so they just call a product by a non-name. So it might be completely innocuous…but i’m still not gonna rule the theory out either.

    anyway, next movie i’m in on will have strategically placed soy milk. :)

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