Purple Moon, the first company to produce entertainment software exclusively for girls age eight to 12, has scored another digital first. The California Milk Advisory Board will feature Purple Moon’s cyberheroine, Rockett Movado, in its national ‘Milk Mustache’ advertising program this summer, making her the first interactive character to don the famous lactic mustache in the campaign’s history. Rockett will join real-life celebrities such as Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Hanson, Neve Campbell, Tyra Banks and Leann Rimes on a special CMAB ‘Rockett’s got milk?’ computer screen saver that will be distributed free to girls across the U.S. via the ‘Milk Mustache Mobile’ campaign.
This initiative marks the first CMAB campaign to be targeted specifically at preteen girls. Its objective? To keep this demographic drinking milk. Currently, the milk consumption levels of girls rapidly decline after age 12, when they start making independent food and beverage choices. This decline has resulted in an alarming increase in cases of osteoporosis in aging women.
Michael Freeman, director of advertising services for the CMAB, says the decision to use Purple Moon’s interactive characters stemmed from the board’s need to make milk more hip. ‘Because drinking milk has a history of being something parents make you do, it becomes, by definition, something girls choose not to do in their teens,’ explains Freeman. ‘If the challenge is to keep milk cool, then interactive products are about as cool as it gets.’
Interestingly enough, a 1992 study of technology usage by kids, conducted by software researcher Brenda Laurel, showed that North American girls start losing interest in computers at around the same time they stop drinking milk. Kathleen Watson, Purple Moon’s marketing director, believes the need to solve this common problem is what unites her company and CMAB. ‘We’re a perfect match because we have the same objective; ours is to keep girls excited about computer technology, and theirs is to keep them excited about drinking milk.’
The CMAB will support the screen saver program with a series of California TV ads that include Purple Moon’s logo and Web site address. In addition, Rockett’s ‘Milk Mustache’ ad will debut in the October/November issue of Girls Life magazine and will be accompanied by a mail-in offer for a free screen saver.