Friendly fire from the milk co-op

I don’t think MG’s chief banana, Gary Helou, was expecting its farmer shareholders to be pleased with the co-op’s rebranding exercise. Referring to the Dev ‘n Dale ads, he writes to his farmers:

“We have received several comments about the adverts in relation to farmer image. It is important to note that the Dev and Dale adverts have been carefully designed to achieve consumer cut-through to drive brand recognition and sales volumes.”

“This strategy is based on humour and the comic characters were designed to be over-the-top so they could not be construed as real representations of our farmers.

“The Dev and Dale characters were also developed to create greater recollection of the brand. Earlier market research found that consumers did not have strong recollection of the Devondale name or brand, and this means consumers are not often enough considering our products for purchase.

“We will monitor consumer response carefully to ensure there are no negative connotations for industry image.”

In earlier letters, the co-op had explained that the old branding was associated with a low-cost positioning and it was important to add value to the brand. I guess Dev ‘n Dale is their interpretation of “upmarket” then.

Please let me know – are the ads funny, memorable and indicative of a premium brand?

PS: For an alternate approach, check out Yeo Valley’s UK dairy promo.