Sport climber Kai Lightner scales a building in new Got Milk? campaign

MilkPEP push from Gale also includes a team of other athletes pushing moo juice on social channels

Published On
May 18, 2021

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Thirsty athletes might turn to water or perhaps a sports drink such as Gatorade. Now, the milk industry is reminding people to think of the dairy beverage as fuel for a variety of pursuits.

A new campaign, “You’re Gonna Need Milk for That,” kicks off with a two-minute film featuring competitive sport climber Kai Lightner scaling a wall set on top of a Kansas City building—after taking a swig of milk, of course. The film, called “The Wall,” was directed by Jimmy Chin, who co-directed the Academy Award-winning “Free Solo.”

The words “You’re Gonna Need Milk for That” along with the long-used “got milk?” tagline appear on the building below his climbing spot.


The campaign suggests milk is the original sports drink and comes as cow’s milk faces continued pressure from dairy-free beverages such as oat, almond and soy drinks. It’s the first work for the Milk Processor Education Program—a marketing and education group funded by U.S. milk companies—from MDC’s Gale, after it won the creative account earlier this year.  

“The ‘You’re Gonna Need Milk for That’ campaign intends to drive dramatic reconsideration of milk and its ability to fuel performance,” Yin Woon Rani, CEO of MilkPEP, said in a statement. “With today’s intense focus on health and wellness, and milk’s rich track record of fueling the world’s top athletes since 776 BC, we are not just asking people if they’ve got milk, we are giving them a contemporary and relevant reason to go and get milk.”

“You’re Gonna Need Milk for That” makes the well-known “got milk?” tagline more relevant for today, Gale CEO Brad Simms said in a statement. 

MilkPEP also has lined up milk-drinking athletes to promote the beverage as part of what it’s calling "Team Milk." Ariel Torres (Karate), Maurio McCoy (Skateboarding), Cat Osterman (Softball) and Hannah Roberts (BMX Freestyle) will share their own stories across earned, owned and paid media.

"The time has come for milk to reclaim its original sports drink status and start competing against those that claim they can outperform milk,” said Simms.

The campaign includes marketing across sports and lifestyle sites, Snapchat, Roblox, Overtime, Whistle Sports and TikTok, out-of-home in New York, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles, rebranding MilkPEP’s social channels under the name “Gonna Need Milk” and athletic imagery on milk trucks, in stores and online.

Along with Gale, MilkPEP works with Hunter on PR and influencer programming and The Mars Agency on shopper marketing.