Spikes Asia

Santa's milk moustache


Presentation Image
Presentation Image






New Zealanders’ tastes were changing: our increasingly cosmopolitan palates were ditching cow’s milk in favour of alternatives like almond and coconut milk. Not only are they seen to be more modern but also perceived to be healthier and more interesting, growing at our expense.

Anchor was a trusted brand, but relatively expensive, and attempts to stand out through product differentiation over the last twelve months yielding average results.

Furthermore, parent brand Fonterra was facing serious financial pressure, and Anchor, the jewel in the crown needed to perform fast – with year-end approaching 2018 financial performance was under scrutiny.

Our brief and objectives were clear:

• Drive incremental sales of Anchor milk, halting category decline.

• Increase share from 16.8% to 17.3% (a brand record).

• Incremental sales of over 500,000 additional litres across the next six weeks.


With Christmas starting its build from late October and still a month away, the commercial noise was already attracting cynicism. As an article in the New Zealand Herald put it “NZ Christmas is dominated by commercialism and relentless pressure on ever widening present lists. We are in a consumer-driven society. Children are watching TV and seeing what they want…and families really struggle to provide that.”

This wasn’t focused at our category, it made our task harder. We needed to avoid ‘Christmas burn-out’, cutting through Christmas clutter.

This also signalled an opportunity: many parents were sharing examples of moving away from commercialisation with their children: instead focusing on Christmas traditions and rituals, unifying with families across NZ, sharing across social media.

This revealed our insight: in an era of Christmas pressure and commercialisation, parents are increasingly looking for more genuine opportunities to build memories with their children at Christmas.


Increasing “milk occasions” is challenging in NZ. We knew people with children were more likely to engage in Christmas festivities: our biggest opportunity, and target audience, was families.

This presented our opportunity to connect with parents, turning a time of stress into an occasion for bringing families together.

This led to our strategy: re-establish the Kiwi Christmas tradition of leaving milk out for Santa.

We’d need to re-establish the ritual in the minds of parents and children – with a declining product.

We formed a layered approach to drive this:

1. Reframing milk as the real fuel for Santa: reminding NZ that milk’s the sustenance that keeps Santa going, through high-reach broadcast media channels.

2. Owning key Christmas moments and traditions: opportunities to deliver a lasting message by surrounding Christmas customs.

3. Modelling the desired behaviour: creating the sense that everyone was fuelling Santa across NZ, by using influential figures.


We implemented through each layer:

1. Reframing milk Santa's fuel source

• Partnering with TVNZ’s (our national broadcaster) Santa Tracker, Santa from the North Pole to deliver reach.

•Digital Content – targeting parents with content of Santa drinking milk and preparing for the lead-up up to Christmas.

2. Owning Christmas traditions

Unable to afford events sponsorships, we found ways to surround them:

Parades: We bought outdoor panels around Christmas parades; as the streets were crowded with people, our messaging was prominent

•Partnerships: local bakery Moustache Milk and Cookies created an ‘Anchor Santa’ cookie, each “fuel pack” featuring an Anchor Christmas message, distributed across NZ.

•Shopping: we activated in NZ’s largest shopping mall, distributing 2,000 Anchor fuel packs

•Targeting parents shopping for kids’ gifts online, via online retailer TradeMe.

3. Modelling desired behaviour

•High profile mums were sent Moustache milk & cookie sets, amplifying the partnership via their social media.


As expected over the festive period, there were sales spikes from cream and custard. However to truly measure campaign effectiveness, we isolated these sales, focusing solely on milk.

• Share growth from 16.3% to 17.8% (Anchor had never previously been above 17.3%)

• Approximately $1.8m revenue (vs $1.4m target) – 612,280 additional bottles sold.

• Delivered highest share lift of all milk across category.

• ROI of 900%.

We didn’t spend our way to that success: we delivered media value of 330% of actual spend, at the most expensive time of year.

We re-energised the category and brought Kiwi families together at one of the most important times of the year.

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