Chocolate Milk is Good for Kids?

That’s right. According to the new ad campaign from Garelick Farms for its TrueMoo chocolate milk ( ) it is. Check it out for yourself here: The ad certainly grabbed my attention, but probably not for the reasons they wanted.



The ad features typical child behavior; boredom with anything nutritious but excited about chocolate milk. A confused mother is saved by her guardian angel (ala the Animal House classic treatment) who lets her know it’s okay to give the boy what he wants because…”hey, it’s good for ‘em…you betcha’”. Her conscience’s devil even appears to concur. By the way; what ever happened to Tom Hulce?

The pitch: TruMoo is not high in fructose syrup, the evil elixir parents battle in soda and some juice drinks, so it’s a healthy choice. They also casually add that it’s “just enough” sugar for a tasty snack.

At a time when consumers are looking for socially conscious behavior from their brands, TrueMoo is telling you chocolate is good for kids. When childhood obesity has become a national epidemic and everyone from parent groups to pediatricians agrees we need to focus on changing kids habits and behaviors, TrueMoo is telling you chocolate is good for kids. At the height of the Networked Era, when customers like me can broadcast our dissatisfaction with the click of the mouse, TrueMoo is telling you chocolate is good for kids.

Look, I’m a parent, I get it; children can violently refuse the healthy options we present them, and they’re eating habits can be very fickle. Our daughter is apparently the only child that doesn’t like those Graduate puffs (I’m currently looking to offload a three-pack we purchased at BJ’s Wholesale Club). Parents try all sorts of tricks to get their kids to eat the essentials (including using chocolate milk). But it’s the consumers’ choice to cut these corners in desperation – and no product company should be developing a campaign around the concept.

Garelick Farms claims it responded to “consumer demand” when it “removed high-fructose corn syrup and replaced it with 100% natural sugar.” I doubt that the parents of obese children made this request. Masking an effort to increase product sales as an attempt to be “customer-centric” is a fast way to diminish your brand’s reputation.

As for the assertion that TrueMoo has “just enough sugar for a tasty snack”; that’s based on the premise that the drink will be one of the few snacks the child has all day. In reality, the families and children that will embrace this product are not those who are currently making disciplined and healthy choices on a daily basis. I’m not saying chocolate milk is a gateway food that leads to Boston-cream donuts, but it’s a slippery slope

Two thumbs down on this product campaign from me. You tell me if I’m being overly-critical.

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