A new campaign from the California Milk Processor Board—the “Got Milk?” people—uses TV spots, a new web site and a highly engaging Facebook site to introduce consumers to the physically perfect inhabitants of Mootopia, a magical land of strong muscles, healthy teeth and shiny hair.
In case that sound a bit dull, CMPB and Goodby, Silverstein, the agency behind the three broadcast spots now running on TV, have also designed a game to let consumers adopt a Mootopian baby and help it grow to the expected perfection by feeding it milk and showering it with praise.
Visitors can register to play the Facebook game by downloading the app. Once they begin, they are asked to answer a few personality-based questions about themselves, and then get a baby Mootopian delivered to their page in a bundle carried by a winged cow-stork. Once they’ve given the child a first name, they can then set about feeding it on a diet of milk, choosing settings to strengthen its teeth, muscles or hair—the same three benefits featured in the TV commercials—and dragging a full glass of milk down to the avatar’s lips. The reward for the user is a flex of the muscles, a toss of the hair, or a glint of a smile—and a bit of growth.
“No one needs to be told these days about the importance of social media,” says Steve James, executive director of the CMPB. “We chose to go with Facebook because it fits right into our target demographic for this campaign, which is moms and families. A wide range of people go onto Facebook so families can keep in touch, share news and photos, and play a game for a couple of minutes while they’re there. The beauty of the ‘Raise a Mootopian’ game is that you can do it with very little effort and very little time spent, but it keeps you coming back.”
Specifically the game—produced by Transistor Studios—should keep users coming back for an extended period to feed and care for their Mootopian. “We designed it so that even the most frequent players won’t be able to finish the game in less than 15 days,” says Jessica Shank, copywriter for the CMPB account.
Facebook gaming has grown in popularity at almost the same pace as the social network’s general membership. About 200 million people play games every month on Facebook, which numbers about 400 million members.
“It’s a way to have continuous interaction with fans while also bringing the Mootopian commercials to life,” Shank says. Users who succeed in raising their Mootopian will get rewards along the way: Encouraging a Mootopian to study hard will result in an A in “calcium chemistry” class the next day, for example. Those rewards are also posted to the user’s Facebook wall for friends to see.
“Our aim was to create something that you could come back to every day and find something new to see,” Shank says. “Facebook games rely heavily on these kinds of small rewards.”
Meanwhile the avatar will get slowly bigger and more grown up, approaching its successful 9and attractive0 adulthood. Shank and Goodby art director Katie McCarthy say the agency is working with the developers on introducing a snapshot element into the game, whereby users can take a picture of their avatar as it develops and then be rewarded at its maturity with a slide show of their Mootopian’s growth.
“The beauty of the Facebook game is that the message about the power that’s in milk is embedded in the game almost subliminally,’ says CMPB director James. “The values are written into the copy at each stage in terms of muscle rebuilding, dental health and beautiful hair. We’re entertaining rather than lecturing our consumer.”
Meanwhile the microsite for the Mootopia campaign contains links to all the campaign’s current TV spots but also to some interactive games that are just as educational, if somewhat less designed for long-term engagement. Visitors can tap out a melody on a mouthful of gleaming teeth, tickle a Mootopian cow to get more milk production, or listen to the Mootopian anthem.
New for a CMPB campaign is a partnership with Web publisher Daily Candy to place branded discounts on the Mootopia microsite. For examples, visitors from April 12-19 can get an access code for 15% off online purchases at Sephora if they are also members of that retailer’s Beauty insiders program. (If not, they can a link to sign up.)
By incorporating a Facebook game and page into its integrated Mootopia campaign, CMPB has also incorporated mobile access to its content, since so many of its target customers, moms, regularly log into Facebook via their mobile phones. “If mom is out shopping or taxiing kids and has a few minutes between drop-offs, she’s likely to get on her phone and check Facebook to check in with friends, or play some games, engage with Daily Candy and take advantage of these offers,” says James. “Piggybacking on the mobile aspects of Facebook relieves us of the task of designing a mobile site from scratch.”
CMPB and Goodby say they will be watching the metrics from the online elements of the campaign, including unique visits, video views, game interactions and frequency of visits.