Miranda Lambert Rides the Milk Wagon
By Bob Doerschuk
© 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
Country artists are hardly strangers to the National Milk Mustache “got milk?” campaign. Still, when Miranda Lambert chose the day before the 2012 CMA Awards to unveil her portrait as the latest in this long line of celebrities, athletes and even cartoon characters, media filled the CMA atrium to witness the occasion.
The image captures the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year on a weathered wood porch, a grassy field stretching toward trees and hills, with a glass of milk in her hand, a bowl of cereal on the ground and the inevitable white frost above her upper lip. Lambert looks as though she was at home on her Oklahoma farm, although the wall was a backdrop and the photo was taken in New Jersey, at a site scouted by photographer Annie Leibovitz and her staff.
Everything else, though, was real — most importantly, the depiction of Lambert’s love for rural life and the drink that best represents it to American consumers. “I always had big breakfasts with my family,” she told the press at CMA. “Milk was always on the table. My mom would always make sure we had protein before school, even if it was a Pop Tart out the door with a glass of milk to go.”
Her manager, Marion Kraft, already knew this, but the experience of having breakfast at Lambert’s place one morning sparked an idea. “We started by going to the chicken coop,” Kraft recalled. “Miranda hushed the chickens to the side. We picked up a couple of eggs, walked into her kitchen and she scrambled them up. She made me some coffee. And I thought, ‘This is why Miranda connects with her audience.’ She can be many things. She is that artist up onstage — and she is this down-home, normal young girl, who does what we all do. Then she asked, ‘Do you want a glass of milk?’ That got me to remembering when I was working with The Dixie Chicks and we did the ’got milk?’ campaign. That was kind of the trigger that began this for me.”
“Miranda was such a great find for us,” said Victor Zavorsky, Marketing Director at MilkPEP, the Milk Processor Education Program and the group behind the iconic ”got milk?” campaign. “She fits right in with the family demographic that we’re trying to reach. She’s a huge star, so authentic and down-to-earth. We don’t think anyone delivers the message more strongly about how important it is to start the day with milk at breakfast than Miranda Lambert.”
Lambert’s ad debuted in People Country and continues to be seen in Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, Soap Opera Digest and other titles. Readers are also guided to the Breakfast Project website, which includes tips on incorporating milk into a healthy diet, nutritious recipes and much more.
“I don’t know anyone who would say no to being photographed for the ’got milk?’ campaign,” said Kraft. “It’s like being USDA-approved. It tells the world that this organization knows that you represent something that matters and can help them spread their message.”