Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps Is Doing Commercials For Plant-based Milk And Why That’s a BIG Deal

It’s not often I get excited about TV commercials, but I think this new advertising campaign from Silk featuring Olympic Gold mega-medalist Michael Phelps is awesome and a BIG deal.

Michael is not vegan or plant-based, but images of the person who has won the most Gold medals in the entire history of the Olympics is a strong and powerful message that plant-based milk does a body better.

This new Phelps campaign is also a big deal because it features two men. Silk is helping to change the perception that real men don’t drink plants. There is in fact a surge in pro athletes going vegan. Now, the main man in the commercial is not macho. In fact, he is the dad bod personified, but he wants to be healthier, be better. More people can relate to this guy’s story.

Meat and cows are often perceived as masculine, and plants are seen as more feminine. Marketing research has found that in the mainstream vegetarian men are no longer perceived as being less masculine than meat-eaters. However, vegan men are still seen as effeminate. Take a look at these vegan bodybuilders who drink plant-based milks. I think most will argee that these guys look like really, strong men.

This campaign from Silk is coming out as the Winter Olympics in South Korea are about to begin. During recent ice skating trials, I noticed a big push for a “Milk Life” campaign with commercials showing winter Olympic athletes powered by cow milk. Looks like Got Milk has evolved to Milk Life where drinking cow milk is a lifestyle not just a beverage.

This Milk Life campaign is funded by America’s Milk Companies and MilkPEP, The Milk Processor Education Program in Washington, D.C. “funded by the nation’s milk companies, and dedicated to educating consumers and increasing consumption of fluid milk. MilkPEP activities are led by a 20-member board and monitored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service.”

That’s code for “paid for and managed by Check-off program money from our government.”

Milk Life even takes a swing at soy milk pointing out that not drinking cow milk could negatively impact your diet and health. Really? There is more than enough data that the opposite is true. Or could it be that since cow milk sales have been plummeting and plant-based milk sales have been skyrocketing, desperate measures are still in play.

From current marketing research, half of Americans consume plant-based milk which includes 68% of parents and 54% of children under age 18. There is also better profits in plant-based milk. Silk had a profit margin in 2014 of 4.08% versus a 1.94% profit margin on whole milk (Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board‘s January 2014 figures). Does Milk Life mention dairy cows raised on factory farms and their impact on climate change? Yeah, of course not.

It’s awesome that Silk landed Phelps and launched this campaign to push plant-based milk to raise the image and make it look cool to drink milk not from a cow.

Here are a couple of the other spots in the Silk campaign. They are funny!

And this one.

Bravo SILK! Great job with this campaign.

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