A quirky £1.2 million industry campaign to remind millennials of their love of dairy resulted in an 11% drop in those considering a switch to dairy alternatives.

The campaign, funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Dairy and Dairy UK created a spoof organisation – ‘The Department of Dairy Related Scrumptious Affairs’ – to target an audience of millennials and young parents.

Attitudinal research conducted after the initial wave of promotional activity in February and March this year showed 8% of the target audience were less likely to cut down their dairy intake and 11% were less likely to replace dairy with alternatives.

The tongue-in-cheek campaign created fictional jobs within ‘The Department’ including Minister for Milk, director of cheese and head of butter. It featured videos on social media and on-demand TV together with a series of billboard posters at busy city sites including bus stops, rail and bus stations.

The campaign notched up 19 million interactions on social media, and reached 14 million people through advertising.

The positive findings have led Dairy UK and AHDB Dairy to commit a further £1.2 million to the campaign for another year.

Commenting Judith Bryans, Dairy UK chief executive said: “Our decision to move away from traditional media has shown that understanding your target audience and tailoring your messages accordingly is the best way to communicate your message successfully.

“It’s fantastic to see so many engage with and enjoy our campaign and remember what it is that they love about dairy.”

Rebecca Miah, AHDB head of crops and dairy marketing said: “While our interactions and media reach is hugely important as a measure of success, what is more important is how the work impacts on consumer attitudes and actions, which is why we are so pleased to see the positive effect for the industry the campaign has had among the target audience, and we will be ensuring year two is as robust and focused”.

Farmers promoted the campaign locally by ordering branded posters, banners, re-useable coffee cups and car stickers to use on-farm and at local events.

AHDB also launched the ‘1 Billion People’ project, which linked Instagram influencers – people with large social media followings – with farmers to tell the story of how dairy supports 1 billion people globally through sustainable food chains, female empowerment, and local communities.

Social media and on-farm activity will continue throughout 2018. Further advertising and press activity will be announced towards the end of the year.