Reaction Splinters Over Aubrey Plaza's 'Wood Milk' Ads

Big Dairy wields a two-by-four

"Have you ever looked at a tree and thought, 'Can I drink this?'"

Aubrey Plaza sports a goopy mustache and touts a faux beverage called "Wood Milk" in satirical ads created by GALE for the Milk Processor Education Program.

Tree-based humor blooms across videos, a website and social media, with the White Lotus actress concluding, "Is Wood Milk real? No, only real milk is real."

Here, MPEP evokes its uber-classic "Got Milk" campaigns of yore. But the work's proven polarizing, with Plaza pulped by pushback on social.

Perhaps it tries a tad too hard, failing to nail the timbre of the times? In the '90s or aughts, before plant-based products became ubiquitous (and tasty), "Wood Milk" might have felt fresh and funny, a jolly jab at nathcies who'd seemingly drink anything but moo juice.

Now, sadly, it misfires, pouring on tired tropes that soured long ago.

It's worth noting that in February, Silk parodied milk mustaches to hype its soy offerings and generated considerable buzz. That's a testament to the decades-spanning equity of truly great advertising. Alas, Silk's initiative, like MPEP's, garnered mixed reviews at best. For us, both efforts represent glass-half-empty propositions that fail to satisfy.


Agency: GALE

Talent: Aubrey Plaza 
Co-Writer: Neil Casey 
Writer's Assistant: Jackie Reilley 

Production Company: Tool of North America
Director: Hannah Levy
President: Dustin Callif
Managing Director: Nancy Hacohen
Photographer: Sela Shiloni
Executive Producer: Colleen O’Donnell
Line Producer: Taylor Bjorn Bro
Production Supervisor: Jared Plotin

Video Editing: Cut + Run
Color, Finishing, Sound: Company3

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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