It’s 5:45 p.m. Elite sports climber Kai Lightner is walking down a bustling Kansas City street when his attention is arrested by something up above. He reaches for his milk, takes a drink, passes it to his mom and begins his ascent to the top of a 30-story building, where he comes face to face with a climbing wall. As the 21-year-old climbing phenom scales to the top, masterfully maneuvering his limbs with both speed and power, a message appears beneath him: “You’re Gonna Need Milk for That.”
Lightner’s skillful climb is captured in a thrilling two-minute film titled “The Wall,” directed by Jimmy Chin, famed mountaineer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker of “Free Solo,” for the iconic “Got milk?” brand’s new campaign: “You’re Gonna Need Milk for That.” Chin’s masterful camera work captures Lightner’s remarkable talent and what milk — the beverage that has fueled him his entire life — helps athletes like him achieve, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C.
The new campaign speaks to milk’s centuries-long status as a sports drink. It positions milk as a naturally nutrient-rich ally when for people who want to perform their best, MilkPEP said.
“The ‘You’re Gonna Need Milk for That’ campaign intends to drive dramatic reconsideration of milk and its ability to fuel performance,” said Yin Woon Rani, CEO of MilkPEP. “With today’s intense focus on health and wellness, and milk’s rich track record of fueling the world’s top athletes since 776 BC, we are not just asking people if they’ve got milk, we are giving them a contemporary and relevant reason to go and get milk.”
Milk has a natural nutrient combination not found in formulated sports drinks, MilkPEP said. New data along with updated nutrient daily values show that milk now provides 13 nutrients essential for performance.
The new campaign was developed by a newly appointed integrated creative agency, Gale. In collaboration with Hunter, leading public relations and influencer programming, and The Mars Agency, spearheading shopper marketing, Gale’s work gives contemporary and refreshed significance to “Got milk?” and inspires athletes of all types and fitness enthusiasts of all ages to see milk as the best beverage to drive their athletic performance at the highest levels, MilkPEP said.
“’You’re Gonna Need Milk for That’ helps us accomplish two very important objectives: drive consumers to reconsider the role of milk in their lives and make the iconic ‘Got milk?’ tagline more relevant to today’s world,” said Gale CEO Brad Simms. "When we unearthed the insight that milk has been fueling athletes for centuries, our path forward became abundantly clear. The time has come for milk to reclaim its original sports drink status and start competing against those that claim they can outperform milk.”
To spotlight milk’s athletically-rich nutrition credentials, “Got milk?” also assembled Team Milk — a foursome of milk-powered athletes who are confirmed or hoping to represent the United States in new sporting events this summer. Team Milk athletes Ariel Torres (karate), Maurio McCoy (skateboarding), Cat Osterman (softball) and Hannah Roberts (BMX freestyle) are sharing their inspiring stories about how milk fuels their performance across earned, owned and paid media, MilkPEP said.
The new campaign will be supported with a national media rollout across sports and lifestyle sites beginning May 18, 2021. Out-of-home creative will appear in New York City and Dallas before expanding to additional high-traffic locations in Chicago and Los Angeles, MilkPEP noted. MilkPEP’s social channels will be rebranded under the name “Gonna Need Milk,” and milk trucks across the country will be re-wrapped to highlight milk’s original sports drink status and the athletes of Team Milk.
The campaign also boasts a significant investment in Gen Z media, including Snapchat, Roblox, Overtime, Whistle Sports and TikTok, where an upcoming challenge is slated to kickoff over Memorial Day Weekend 2021. This work will feature an extended roster of milk-drinking athletes — Christon Stapleton, Brittany Hertz, Laura Biondo, Brodie Smith and Jessica Long — across top sports, including parkour, swimming, ultimate frisbee, street soccer and basketball. The sports influencers will be creating content that celebrates their most epic athletic achievements fueled by milk, MilkPEP said.
“You’re Gonna Need Milk for That” will also change parents’ shopping behavior by showing them that milk fuels their young athletes’ performance and should be every tween and teen's go-to drink, MilkPEP said. To do that, “Got milk?” is reimagining the white wall of milk with disruptive experiences in-store and online, featuring Team Milk athletes to show parents how milk powered their training and helped give them a competitive edge.