I have decided to post the “Official Statement” from the CMAB, setting the record straight about the production situation for the “Happy Cow” campaign.
I, of course couldn’t post this without putting my two cents. I consider myself with a bit of common sense (I said a bit…LOL) and really what this boils down to, in my opinion is the success of the campaign and the threat it is to those that oppose animal agriculture. So with that success they find creative ways to make the campaign look bad.
As a dairy producer in California, as all dairy producers in our state and nation, we work hard. Our job is 24/7. This year has been devastating economically. We, though, continue to work. So when I hear a big roar about not filming “Happy Cow” commercials in California, and that roar is against us, the dairy farmers, since we are the CMAB I become a bit defensive. What I see as the real issue, is the fact that our state system and business climate in California along with the powers that drive these rules and regulations as the REAL problem. Why would we not want to do ALL work here in OUR state? That is common sense (that word again). We have an industry to represent and promote with a budget. Isn’t it only fair to get the most for your hard-earned dollar? If an industry is losing due to their contracts and demands, instead of whining about it, wouldn’t they change it to get the job? Either they don’t need the job bad enough or there are too many fingers in the pie to pay for itself. So who is to blame?
It is not that I am all about defending the CMAB and the campaign, it is about seeing through what the REAL issue is behind the negative being stirred up because of a radical group who is scared of the success of the ad campaign.
The real justice would be reformulate our states system so that we can have a healthy business climate and CREATE more jobs instead of regulations that push companies and work out of our state and nation.
*Setting the Record Straight on the Happy Cows Commercial Production Situation*
In light of an inflammatory article featured in the November 13th edition of the Los Angeles Times, the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) offers the following facts about the production of its highly successful Happy Cows television commercials:
Fact 1: To set the record straight, we are not shooting Happy Cows commercials in New Zealand, we are shooting unhappy cows from all over the world auditioning to become California cows. Any ads that show actual California cows have always been – and will always be – filmed and produced completely in California.
Fact 2: The California Milk Advisory Board has been a longtime supporter of the creative talents in our state. The two most important commercial production professionals hired by our advertising agency to produce the Happy Cows spots are the California-based producer, Karen Rohrbacher, and director, Chris Hooper, who have held these roles with us for almost ten years. These experienced AICP & DGA members have been hired again to produce the new set of ads and will be traveling to New Zealand to oversee the small portion of production that will be filmed on a soundstage there. All post-production work, including music, animation, editing and special effects will be done in California, as always. To put this in perspective, four days total will be spent in New Zealand: one for pre-production and three for shooting. After this minor portion of production is done, the footage will be brought back to California where it will take six-to-eight weeks to finish each of the 10 new commercials. This means that a minimum of 100 times the work – and, thus, employment – done on the Happy Cows TV ads will be executed in California. In fact more than 90% of the entire 2010 advertising production budget is being spent in California and creating jobs for our important commercial production industry.
Fact 3: The California dairy industry is facing its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The situation has been so bad that 10 percent of dairies in California have been forced to shut down and sell off their cows. It’s more important than ever to spend producer dollars efficiently. We carefully considered all options for producing this round of commercials and the business decision was made to save money on the commodity end of the TV commercial production cycle – shooting of non-Californian cows on a soundstage – to help save the industry so that it can continue to produce the top quality dairy products that consumers have come to expect.
Fact 4: The California dairy industry is a major employer of the state’s citizens. The most recent economic impact data available, from 2007, estimates that 435,000 full-time jobs are associated with this vital industry. These jobs include on-the-farm and beyond-the-farm jobs, including those workers who grow feed, as well as workers in processing plants, distribution centers and grocery stores in the U.S.
Fact 5: The Happy Cows campaign (this audition series in particular) has been one of the most successful campaigns in CMAB history. We have received more than 800,000 votes (and counting) for the next Happy California Cow. This demonstrates an extremely high level of consumer engagement and interest, driving people to RealCaliforniaMilk.com where our dairy farmers can tell a deeper story about who they are and the tremendous products they produce.