IPA Effectiveness Awards 2004: Gold Award - The Charles Channon Award (Best New Learning) - Sponsored by WARC


Campaign: The Cows Want It Back

Client: Arla Foods

Agencies: DDB London, DDB Matrix

Principal authors: Elisa Edmonds, DDB London; Sara Donoghugh, DDB Matrix

With contributions from: Justin Notley, BD-Ntwk/Scotland; Les Binet, DDB

London; Sarah Carter, DDB London

Media used: TV, direct marketing


Milk. Hardly a dream account. But the story of Cravendale is one of those rare cases where marketing can make a mundane product seem interesting and change buying habits that have long been set in stone. From a standing start, Cravendale has become a £41 million brand.

But it has not been easy. The milk market was unbranded and commoditised, and consumers were buying it on autopilot. They weren't ready for a premium brand with no heritage that was 28 per cent more expensive than standard milk. But close monitoring and adapting of the campaign, as well as tighter integration of the above- and below-the-line elements, reinvigorated the launch.

Cravendale grew by 45 per cent from launch and is on target to break into the top-30 grocery brands list by 2005.

The judges' view

This paper is a well-integrated and written FMCG case study. It tells the story of how Cravendale became a premium brand worth £41 million with the help of some disgruntled cows.

The scale of task facing Cravendale was daunting, yet it succeeded in creating a milk brand capable of charging a 30 per cent premium in a commodity market.

Above all else, the honesty of this paper was refreshing. By describing what Cravendale had learned from its first bout of advertising, the judges were able to see for themselves how it managed to get it right second-time around with the "The Cows Want It Back" campaign.

This paper proved that integrated communication amplified the effectiveness of a campaign, making the whole add up to more than the sum of its parts.

It was awarded the Charles Channon Award for new learning because it is the first time a paper has isolated the long- and short-term effect of integrated activity above and below the line.

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