Dairy milk campaigns—like the industry’s attempt to revive the “Got Milk” ads —are out of tune with what younger generations want. This is why Danone-owned Silk’s new campaigns are designed to resonate with Millennials and Generation Z, who are increasingly reaching for vegan milk.
Silk’s newest campaign, Silk Tiny Kitchen Concerts, features young musical artists across several genres, including Daniel Seavey (of Why Don’t We fame); country music singer-songwriter Brittney Spencer; remix master JORDY; and R&B musical artist Ogi.
“We’ve created the Silk Almondmilk Tiny Kitchen Concerts to show how easy it is for milk drinkers to remix their morning breakfast” Leora Kelley, Director of Silk Beverages, said in a statement.
“We have partnered with the next generation of top musicians to spotlight the incredible taste of Silk Almondmilk,” Kelley said. “We can’t wait for everyone to discover their new favorite artists and their new favorite recipes.”
This week, Silk began airing its Tiny Kitchen Concert series across its YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram channels.
Fans who share how they use Silk’s almond milk on these platforms can enter for a chance to win vegan milk for the rest of the year and a 12-month membership to a music streaming platform of their choice.
Daniel Seavey on Gen Z’s love of vegan milk
A 2021 report by market research firm The NDP Group found that Millennials and Gen Z are driving the growing demand for alternatives to dairy and meat, due primarily to their interest in better health, sustainability, and animal welfare and their knowledge of the benefits of a plant-based diet in these areas.
Research conducted last year by UK-based dairy co-operative Arla also revealed that nearly half of the Gen Z demographic is “ashamed” of ordering dairy milk in public.
So why is Gen Z reaching for vegan milk? Seavey—whose two favorite things are music and breakfast—says his choice is motivated by taste and health. “I’m a pretty picky person and to be honest, drinking plain milk always grossed me out,” Seavey tells VegNews. “But at some point a friend convinced me to try Silk Almondmilk and ever since then, I’ve been hooked.”
“It just tastes better,” Seavey says. “And it is much better for you especially if you’re trying to cut back on dairy like me.”
The 23-year-old musical artist considers himself a flexitarian but is moving away from dairy as much as he practically can. “I think it’s great that more people my age are reaching for plant-based milk alternatives—what’s even better is that we have so many good options to choose from nowadays when making the switch,” Seavey says.
“Personally, I made the switch at first because I was looking for a better taste, but the health benefits it brought me from being plant-based has actually been amazing,” he says.
To appeal to slightly older consumers, Silk’s previous almond milk campaign, Milk of the Land, sampled a popular tune from Millennial-favorite band Daft Punk.
Next generation of milk mustaches
Earlier this year, Silk modernized the milk mustache with a timely dairy-free campaign that included children of celebrities who have previously appeared in dairy milk ads, including Brooklyn Peltz Beckham, Ella Bleu Travolta, Myles O’Neal (along with siblings Shareef, Me’Arah, Shaqir, and Amira), and Sailor Brinkley Cook.
Peltz Beckham—who is the son of Victoria and David Beckham—has been busy showing off his cooking chops on social media, with recent vegan dishes such as lasagna.
“I love cooking and trying new recipes with my wife,” Peltz Beckham said in a statement. “It’s exciting to have an option like Silk Nextmilk when we are doing a plant-based meal.”
The O’Neal siblings—whose father is legendary NBA player and lover of Slutty Vegan’s burgers, Shaquille O’Neal —also dabble in the plant-based world, particularly dairy-free beverages.
“Family is extremely important to me; I’m grateful to have my siblings by my side as we define our own plant-based ‘stache legacy with Silk Nextmilk,” Myles O’Neal said in a statement. “Adding more plant-based options into my routine helps keep things fresh, and I enjoy Silk Nextmilk as a base for my morning protein shakes without lactose.”
Silk’s next-gen vegan milk line
Silk first launched its Nextmilk line last year after a rigorous research and development process. Available in whole-fat and 2 percent reduced-fat varieties, the vegan milk is made from a combination of plant bases, including oat, coconut, and soy.
The company formulated the line to mimic dairy on multiple levels—such as key nutritional factors, molecular composition, and iconic sensory elements—to deliver an improved plant-based milk-drinking experience.
This campaign was also centered around sending the message that this next generation of milk is aligned with what the next generation wants.
“Silk Nextmilk is here for the next generation of milk drinkers, and as a proud vegan and Silk fanatic, I’m thrilled to be one of the first faces repping Silk with a plant-based ‘stache,” Travolta—daughter of actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston—said in a statement.
“I’m a baking enthusiast, so if I’m not drinking a glass of Silk Nextmilk, I’m adding it to a batch of my homemade plant-based banana bread,” she said.
Like milk campaigns of the past, Silk’s next-gen approach features celebrities donning vegan milk mustaches across social media platforms and on billboards in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
Another prominent face of the campaign is Brinkley Cook, daughter of legendary supermodel Christie Brinkley who previously credited her plant-based diet for maintaining her youthful looks.
“I grew up in a plant-based household, so it’s extra important for me to reach for great-tasting products in my diet,” Cook said in a statement. “I have a real sweet tooth and I love dunking my favorite vegan cookies in Silk Nextmilk.”
Silk’s celebrity milk campaigns
Danone is known best for its dairy products but in recent years, has dug deep into the plant-based industry through its WhiteWave suite of brands—which includes Silk, So Delicious, Vega, and Alpro—which it acquired in 2016 for $12.5 billion.
Since then, Danone has been investing in boosting these brands in numerous ways, including through new product lines and celebrity-backed campaigns. Last year, Silk partnered with musical artist Kelly Rowland to help promote its #SwapItWithSilk taste challenge on Tik Tok.
This campaign followed Silk’s 2021 G.O.A.T. campaign which posited that its oat milk was the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.) milk and featured celebrity ambassadors—including Gordon Ramsay, Alicia Silverstone, and Gabi Butler—who are the G.O.A.T. in their own right.
For the next-gen milk campaign, Silk also launched a TikTok milk ‘stache filter giveaway which gives fans a chance to win a year’s worth of Silk Nextmilk and a spot on a billboard in NYC’s Times Square. All of these elements were chosen to usher in a new era of milk advertising for a new generation that continues to choose vegan milk over dairy.
“With help from the faces of the next generation, we’re showing just how easy it is to reach for and enjoy plant-based beverages like Silk Nextmilk,” Olivia Sanchez, Vice President of Marketing, Plant-Based Beverages for Danone North America, said in a statement.
“As a leader in the plant-based category, we recognize that the next generation is interested in incorporating more plant-based options into their lifestyles,” she said.