Agency: BMP DDB Needham Author: John Grant

The Milkman Relaunch - How Advertising Halted a Long Term Decline in Share


The client is the brand leader in a 3.2 billion food market. Because its competitors are far cheaper, it is losing more than a million customers a year. What could advertising do to help?

In this case the product was the milkman and the competitor the supermarkets.

The obvious answer was to target customers who were about to cancel their milkman. But we discovered that advertising could do little to dissuade them. It would be too little, too late.

Then we examined the move from milkman to supermarkets in more detail. We discovered that there was a crucial first step towards cancelling. This was when milkman customers started to buy some of their milk from the supermarkets on a regular basis. Here, it seemed, advertising could have an effect. By targeting these people advertising could not only return a very considerable short-term profit; it could also reduce the rate of cancelling in the future. In fact, we will show that advertising in this way actually halted the decline in the milkman's share during 1991.