Who goes against wholesome milk, cookies and the American Dream? Olympic medalist and world champion cyclist Dotsie Bausch did when the Milk Industry partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee during the 2018 Winter games. With sub-standard science but a marketing engine promoting its place atop the food pyramid, Dotsie enlisted help from Effect Partners to help put pressure on the Milk Industry to promote healthier living by going dairy free. Subsequently, what started out as a one-time disruption tactic, turned into a full-blown on-going nutrition advocacy mission and campaign – Switch4Good – which brought a unified message from high profile athletes on the benefits of living dairy-free.
With less than 20 days, and in full collaboration with Pollution Studios, Oscar-winning Director Louis Phsyios, Bausch and a half-dozen of her fellow dairy-free Olympians, Effect concepted, shot, edited and finalized a :30 PSA to run on NBC during its Winter Games closing ceremonies broadcast. After just one airing in one market, Milk executives had seen enough and forced NBC to shut it down – proving we’d hit a nerve. While they may have stopped the Olympic broadcast of the commercial, it still aired during the 2019 Oscars the following week, after a week of earned media about the dairy industry’s unjust action. Millions of impressions were generated.
Building on this momentum, Effect combined Dotsie’s leadership in health, fitness and the plant-based community with its high-profile connections, media prowess and grassroots organizing skills to start the non-profit coalition Switch4Good (S4G) and nurture this passionate community of athletes. Effect created a Dairy Free Athlete Summit, worked with Dotsie on organizational development and positioning, developed social media training and effective talking points for the elite athletes. Then, Effect helped design and lead a robust social media campaign and organized a grassroots campaign. As a result, S4G gained a significant following and has reached millions of people with a message of the health, ethical and environmental benefits of going dairy free. Due to the overwhelming response, plans emerged for the next campaign push, “Listen to Your Gut,” planned for the 100-day duration from Earth Day to the Olympics in Tokyo. Though circumstances changed due to COVID-19, the campaign premiered in July 2020.
On the largest of stages, Effect succeeded in breaking through a heavily guarded territory and created massive disruption with a multi-media Olympics campaign featuring paid, earned and owned integration. The groundbreaking PSA campaign generated nearly 50 million impressions and exceeded metrics by more than 250%. From inception to maturity, we designed and executed this grassroots campaign that developed into a coalition of hundreds of athletes and thousands of fans and followers. From one passionate athlete to well over 5,000 who have switched to dairy-free for good.