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Dairy Farmers get teary-eyed in new campaign

Campaign comes amid a challenge to Canadian cheese makers posed by CETA

Against the backdrop of a new international trade deal that gives European cheese makers increased access to the Canadian market, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has launched a new consumer awareness campaign touting the value of Canadian milk products.

The 12-week campaign from DDB Canada employs a light-hearted approach to suggest that crying over spilled milk— as well as other dairy products—is warranted when it’s Canadian.

Victoria Cruz, the DFC’s Montreal-based marketing and retail director, says the campaign underscores the group’s belief in the vital role dairy products play in the country’s future.

“We have a new brand conviction that Canadian dairy farmers believe in the power of dairy to give Canada a healthier future,” says Cruz. “By that we mean, physical, psychological and economical.”

The campaign is built around a 30-second ad called “The Dinner Party,” which is running on TV, as well as online and in cinema. The spot employs a mannequin challenge-esque” approach to storytelling, the camera zooming around a group of frozen dinner party guests whose faces are contorted in anguish, tears glistening on their cheeks.

The payoff comes with the final shot, which reveals the source of their dismay: One of the guests has spilled a pot of cheese fondue. The accompanying voiceover states, “If it’s made with Canadian milk, it’s worth crying over.”

Cruz says the objective is to drive home the fact that high-quality milk is a key ingredient in many of the foods Canadians love, such as cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream. “Losing a single drop of Canadian quality milk certainly is a ‘tradedairy’” she quips.

The video is being accompanied by a series of cinemagraphs and GIFs appearing in social media channels and digital out-of-home, while still images of teary-eyed people crying over spilled dairy products are also running in print, transit and a takeover campaign at Toronto’s main commuter hub, Union Station.

All of the advertising drives to, which contains information on the stringent quality controls used by Canadian dairy farmers in their milk production. The consumer campaign is also the first to use the new logo introduced by DFC late last year.

The campaign comes amid a growing challenge to Canadian dairy products posed by last year’s Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU).

Dairy farmers claim the deal poses a serious challenge to Canada’s fine cheese makers by allowing the EU to sell an additional 18,500 tonnes of fine cheese in Canada tariff-free. That is over and above the 13,471 tonnes the EU is already permitted to sell in Canada.

According to DFC, the EU’s access under CETA will total 31,971 tonnes of cheese, representing approximately 7.5% of the Canadian cheese market. It says that imports from all countries are set to increase from 5% to 9% of the total Canadian cheese market, equivalent to a 2.25% cut in Canadian farm quota. DFC says that translates to a potential loss of nearly $150 million per year for Canadian farmers.

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