Charli D’Amelio is known for her dance videos. She sways to songs like “Lottery (Renegade)” and “Cardigan.” But her recent TikTok didn’t feature a trending pop remix. Instead, the song features lyrics like, “I’ve got a big ole glass of milk.” D’Amelio begins the milk ad by sipping on the beverage before setting her glass aside and starting her dance.
The milk ad was paid for by Gonna Need Milk, which is the marketing campaign of the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP). Its goals are simple: “increase dairy milk awareness and drive milk consumption.” And they aren’t just working with D’Amelio to do so. Last year, MilkPEP sponsored Twitchcon. This year, it had a booth at the annual content creator convention VidCon for attendees to play its “Fortnite” game.
MilkPEP isn’t the only dairy company trying to sway young people. The California Milk Advisory Board’s recent retail campaign tried to use influencers like food TikTokers Ryan Turley and Ale Regalado to encourage people to buy California dairy products. And National Dairy Checkoff partners with YouTuber Mr. Beast, who plays with cows in Minecraft in one milk ad.
And Big Milk isn’t the only industry tapping influencers to help revitalize its image. Oil companies—which young people largely oppose—BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil are also turning to influencers to “win the trust of the younger generation.” Most recently, social media stars Nora Capistrano Sangalang and Brooke Scheurn highlighted how much money they save through Shell and ExxonMobil’s fuel rewards programs. …