Got Originality?

Give me a break. “Got Botox?!

Imitation, the Rev. Colton insisted, is the sincerest form of flattery.

In the annals of American advertising, no slogan has attracted so many imitations—trite or inane as they may be—as the legendary Got Milk?, created in 1993 by Goodby Silverstein and Partners for its client, the California Milk Processor Board, which today owns and licenses those famous two words to other national dairy boards, merchandisers, and manufacturers.

GS&P turned to radio for its unique ability to create great theater-of-mind (and thirst-for-milk), as here: and here: Then came the white-mustached celebrities.

Over the past 18 years we’ve all seen or heard local advertisers’ pathetic attempts to coopt the “Got [Insert Product or Service]?” slogan for their own businesses. Remember any of them? Did any succeed in making themselves endearing or memorable as a result?

Of course not. They simply reminded us of milk and we forgot about them.

Just the other day, driving up to Spokane, I passed a Prius sporting a bumper sticker that read: “Got Yoga?” Do these lemmings honestly believe that their customers think of that as clever advertising?

Clever?? No, what it really communicates about the advertiser is that their marketing people are lazy. Or incompetent. Perhaps both.

If you’re in business, you have a story that belongs to you and no one else. Tell that story, your story, instead of borrowing someone else’s and trying make it fit you.

Truth is better than creativity. – David Ogilvy

About Rod Schwartz

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He joined the Pullman (Wash.) Radio Group in 1979, where he worked until his retirement at the end of 2022. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales (, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. Rod also operates an independent advertising, marketing, and communications consultancy for small business owners and professionals, An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at and on his Viewbug gallery.
This entry was posted in Advertising (General), Branding, Communication, Got Milk?, Radio Advertising, Radio Commercials, Radio Copywriting, Sales & Marketing, Storytelling and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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