On Your Marks!

Wow. As MilkPEP’s 2008 Campaign for Healthy Weight picks up speed, what better partner to help promote milk’s healthy weight message than the American Heart Association (AHA). And you can be a part of it.

For the first time ever, MilkPEP is a major player in the AHA’s popular Start! Heart Walks. This signature event covers cities coast-to-coast, calling for Americans and their employers to create a culture of physical activity and health, all so we can live longer, heart-healthy lives.

Sign up today to participate in this exciting national event. Check to see if a local Start! Heart Walk is planned near you-just visit milkpep.org for a complete list of cities and scheduled walks. Be there as we rally local women to be more physically active on a daily basis and to commit to an overall healthy eating plan that includes drinking lowfat and fat-free milk (your brand, of course!).  Remember to download and submit the Event Participation Request Form while you’re on the site. The planning team will call you back with tips and tools for promoting your brand.

A few easy steps for starring in the Start! Heart Walk campaign:

• Host Sampling Stations. Hand out free samples of milk to build brand recognition. Fat-free white milk, fat-free chocolate milk, ½% lowfat white milk and ½% lowfat chocolate milk meet AHA criteria.

• Milk Mustache Photos. This is a sure crowd-pleaser. Visitors “drink on” their milk mustache, then pose for their very own Milk Mustache photo souvenir that you shoot with a Polaroid.

• Take the Pledge. Consumers pledge to join the Campaign for Healthy Weight and to drink three 8-oz. glasses of lowfat and fat-free milk every day.

• Bring your Brand. Feature your own branded coolers, signage, premiums and your brand mascot to generate visibility and excitement.

• Drive Traffic. Create branded flyers and distribute them through local retailers.

• Free Tools. Log onto gotnews? at milkpep.org to access tour information and press materials you can distribute to the local media.

• Add the Start! Logo to your website. Include local Start! Heart Walk information and a link to www.whymilk.com.

• Put Together Your Own Team Challenge your employees and key customers to organize a walk team in your market. Or team up with your local Curves franchise for the walk!

• Work with Curves Reps Invite local Curves representatives to join you in retail stores to sample milk in-store and to encourage customer participation

• More than one million people are expected to participate this year in over 450 Start! Heart Walks across the country. Not only does the organization’s “mission in action” actually get people to improve their health by walking, but it puts exercise in a fun, family-friendly environment-while raising critical funds to help fight heart disease and stroke.

Walk the walk, talk the milk talk

From March to November, MilkPEP will set up milk events at Start! Heart Walks in 25 markets (milkpep.org gives you a complete list of walks and dates). Promotions will include milk sampling, Milk Mustache photo souvenirs visitors can download from whymilk.com, “e-Pledge Packets” and free Curves coupons they can also download.  Often, a registered dietitian will attend events to meet visitors and discuss the health benefits of drinking milk.

The 25 markets were chosen based on their media presence and how well they represent processor organizations equally. We also made sure the mix included a solid cross-country representation and top Hispanic markets.  Find the Start! Heart Walk nearest you by clicking in to milkpep.org.

So get walking, all you milk processors out there with a great-tasting product to sell. Whether you sponsor a local walk yourself or join MilkPEP in one of 25 designated cities, don’t miss this chance for the AHA to do something healthy for your brand-while doing something healthy for America.