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  • Writer's pictureKarla Trippe

Favorite Ad Campaign? Got Two

This week I received a message from LinkedIn asking me about my favorite ad of all time. This got me thinking back to the 90s when we still did a lot of traditional TV and print. I consider one of the best campaigns ever was Got Milk? Do you remember it? The California Milk Processor Board wanted to increase sales and the head of marketing hired a sharp, young agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners out of San Francisco. Together, they crafted TV ads that were devised to make you think about foods you liked that go with milk. During the time, the agency talked about how well they worked with the client on the creative strategy and the encouragement the client gave to come up with break-through creative and the support given the campaign by the board.

According to Wikipedia, the first Got Milk? advertisement aired nationwide on October 29, 1993, which featured a hapless historian (played by Sean Whalen) receiving a call to answer a radio station's $10,000 trivia question (voiced by Rob Paulsen), "Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?" (referring to the Burr–Hamilton duel). The man is shown to have an entire museum solely for the duel itself, packed with all the artifacts. He answers the question correctly by saying "Aaron Burr", but because his mouth is full of peanut butter sandwich and he does not have milk to wash it down, his answer is unintelligible. The DJ promptly hangs up on him. The ad was directed by future Hollywood filmmaker Michael Bay.

My second favorite were the ads I worked on with Goldberg Moser O’Neill to launch Symantec’s first brand-building campaigns. I write in-depth about this project in Chapter 7: Babies and Brands from my book, “Scenes from the Valley.” There are so many variables in creating a memorable advertising campaign. First off is the creative itself. Ours was based on research that said people used advertising for research. Our ads were long copy with small graphics with relevant data, a forerunner to infographics. But for great creative to reach the prospect requires support by key people in the executive suite and an agency that listens to the client on the most critical aspects (for my campaign it was the photo of Peter Norton that Peter loved and the CEO hated). It was a great learning experience for me. #BestAds

Perhaps there is a literary agent out there looking for an interesting business book the fits in perfectly with the topics LinkedIn is focused on right now particularly #TheBigShift. Visit my website at to read more about the book.


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