It took me way too many years to find the "original" mustache campaign that I remember from when I was a little kid - found deep down in the dusty archives of the Swedish Arla Milk products company, photos of famous people posing with big white mustaches. Concept ring a [cow]bell?
Back in the early 1980s some adman was thinking about how to increase consumption of the very healthy, and plentiful variations of filmjölk (yogurt). Lets make people drink their filmjölk was the thought; instead of just having a bowl in the morning with müsli or something in it, why not pour yourself a glass of your favorite kind, and drink it? De-stress the stressed out mornings of the eighties with a tall glass of healthy yogurt - and why not turn the only 'side effect' from drinking the stuff into the hero of the campaign - the telltale mustache that happens when you drink yogurt.
Soon celebrities were lining up to pose with yogurt on their faces, and the writers punned away on the headlines.
In hindsight, this one (top) is quite funny as politician Lars Werner was known to like a glass or ten of stronger drinks, the headline reads "start your morning with a glass". In Swedish this can easily be misunderstood as "Start your morning with a drink" ....
Soul singing Cyndee Peters proclaims the virtue of harmony, brought to your ears by her voice and anyones stomach by yogurt, while comedians from a late-night show based on booze jokes drink from their trademark Martini glasses. The concept worked well, people did begin to drink their yogurt. These days you'll find yogurt in sporty single serving bottles everywhere.
Later, on the other side of the pond.....When the nineties rolled around another adman had another bright idea - mustaches made by milk on famous people! That milk leaves a far less visible mustache is just a minor detail the Art Director can fix, right?
Suddenly everyone wanted to sport a mustache, celebrities again lined up to appear in the ads, and miles of copy was written about the US east coast born campaign. Not to mention books like, The Milk Mustache Book : A Behind-The-Scenes Look at America's Favorite Advertising Campaign and Milk Mustache Mania
When Goodby Silverstein and Partners created the clever "Got Milk" campaign - sans mustaches - their tagline proved so sticky it was later attached on the mustache campaign, which originally started out with the line "Milk - Where's your mustache?". Crazy move that, Got milk? was the answer to the visual question posed in each Goodby poster, working like a proper tagline should, and it really doesn't fit on the mustache campaign.
Then again, I never did swoon over the Milk mustache campaign, as all it reminds me of, is that drinking yogurt is yummy. I think I'll have a tall glass right now, while I contemplate on the old saying "there is nothing new under the sun".