MODESTO, Calif. -- Retailers throughout California will soon be able to take advantage of a $10 million cheese campaign sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board.
Entitled "It's the Cheese!," the campaign includes point-of-sale materials and in-store promotions as well as six 30-second television commercials and billboard advertising. With this effort, CMAB aims to strengthen consumer preference for California-produced cheese.
"We've been getting over-whelming response from retailers," said Michael Freeman, a spokesman for CMAB.
"It started as an advertising campaign [but] translates completely to stores," he said, and added that the focus is on branded and private-label bulk-wrapped cheese found in the dairy aisle. Both the television and billboard ads feature a twist on the question-and-answer format. Statements appearing on the billboards range from "Why Californians Started to Make Wine" to "Why Real Men Eat Quiche," whereas the television ads highlight six different characters who are all drawn to California. The reason given in all these cases: "It's the Cheese!"
Last year a test-run of the promotion increased sales of cheese carrying the Real California label by 12% in participating stores, CMAB said.
The promotion is divided into two freestanding insert drops, one that will reach 6.8 million consumers Sept. 10, and another Nov. 12, according to CMAB.
So far the board has scheduled 750 in-store demos that will take place during the campaign, Freeman told SN.
CMAB will also send installers to the retail stores to help hang promotional materials such as banners, displays, channel strips, mobiles, shelf danglers and bin decorators that the board provides. Ad slicks are also available.
As part of the promotion, customers purchasing any three cheeses featuring the Real California Cheese seal will receive a free California Travel Guide from the board. The guide includes discounts to California attractions, travel tips and ideas, as well as coupons for cheese and other cross-merchandised categories.
Cross-merchandising will also play a part, and Freeman cited examples from the grocery and produce sections: "We'll have a sign in the macaroni aisle that asks, 'Why does macaroni have elbows?' And one in the produce section, 'Why do we grow so much broccoli?' "
CMAB hopes to ride the wave of steady growth in the state's cheese industry: the board claims that the state is now the second largest producer of cheese, currently at a rate of one billion pounds annually.