Introducing Texans to the goodness of this organic, family-run dairy brand with a scenic, statewide commercial, timeless packaging, and compelling public relations.
- Brand Strategy
- Video + Multimedia
- Paid Media
- Public Relations
Serving Up a New Milk Brand in the Lone Star State
Arizona and Texas are only separated by a single state (New Mexico). But when it comes to milk — and the way that milk is marketed — it turns out there are worlds between them.
We quickly learned this while working with 1836 Farms, the Texas-based sister company of our longtime client Danzeisen Dairy.
As it turned out, many of the strategies which proved wildly successful for Danzeisen Dairy in Arizona simply wouldn’t translate to Texas. Building brand awareness in the Lone Star State would require something new. And that something new became something truly special.
Across three distinct campaigns, we quickly established 1836 Farms as one of Texas’s tastiest, most loveable milk brands. Here’s how we did it.
More Than Milk
When we began this project in 2020, Danzeisen’s sister company still needed a name, a logo, and brand messaging. And these elements needed to communicate its history, resonate with Texans, and set it apart from competitors. (Of course, 1836 Farms’ milk is as delicious and fresh as you’ll find in Texas, but we also needed to help it stand out on grocery store shelves.)
So what do Texans love? Texas, of course. The year 1836 is a big one there — that’s when Texas finished seceding from
Mexico (remember the Alamo?) — so that became a key touchpoint. As well, the company’s family has been dairy farmers for more than 100 years and operates its organic dairy farm just outside Dallas. The name 1836 Farms became the perfect fit.
Compiling consumer data, we found key demographic and psychographic insights. This research revealed the following about Texas’s big metropolitan areas:
This market presented some new challenges. Take its size: Across nearly 270,000 square miles, Texas features numerous large cities, pro sports teams, and competing cultures/allegiances. This meant the type of sports partnerships Danzeisen leveraged in Phoenix weren’t possible in Texas. (If we positioned 1836 Farms as pro-Texas Rangers, would we lose Houston Astros fans?) Additionally, 1836 Farms provides organic milk to a large national company that also sells in Texas, so any new marketing campaigns couldn’t directly pit them against this partner.
“So it was a little bit of an uphill battle,” said Claudia Kunkel, Ideas Collide’s longtime Public Relations Specialist who oversaw these campaigns. Claudia had been Danzeisen Dairy’s point person since the very beginning. But we needed brand-new strategies this time. So what was it that truly made 1836 Farms stand out, and how exactly could that be marketed?
“What does make them unique,” she said, “is glass bottles.”
Gotta Drink ‘Em All
“They’re uniquely designed,” Kunkel said of the eye-catching 1836 bottles. “They’re Texas-themed. They’re returnable — you pay a $2 deposit, you bring it back, and you can put $2 toward your next bottle of milk or get your $2 back. They’re Earth friendly.”
Ideas Collide built a social media strategy around three limited-edition bottle designs: one featuring Texas’s state flower, the bluebonnet; another with the “First Republic of Texas” star; and a third with Texas’s famous “Come and Take It” flag. These were promoted on Facebook and Instagram, driving traffic to the Store Locator page on 1836 Farms’ website.
Beyond The Bottle
Campaign #2 was all about thought leadership via news coverage, selling the public not on cool glass bottles, but the deeper ethos behind organic milk. Kunkel worked hard to secure coverage from multiple outlets. The first was a feature on the popular news show, “Good Morning Texas“, showcasing the old-fashioned way 1836 Farms produces and bottles its milk.
The second was a feature story — titled “Can Cow’s Milk Make a Comeback?” — in Texas Monthly.
With a readership of 2.5 million and in-depth stories from acclaimed writers nationwide, Texas Monthly has long been one of America’s most prestigious regional magazines and a standard-bearer for written journalism.
These were big gets for Ideas Collide and 1836 Farms. Good PR starts with good products, Kunkel said, since good products make good stories even better. And with 1836 Farms, the product is unquestionably good.
Grassroots and Sunrises
Meanwhile, Campaign #3 was a video commercial highlighting the beautiful Texas scenery, the homegrown 1836 Farms community, and, as the commercial says, “the Texan in all of us.”
1836 Farms wrangled nearby friends and family to star in the video, and Ideas Collide’s video production team hit the ground running across two busy days. The results were welcoming — and even breathtaking. Take the commercial’s opening shot, which sweeps across a field of grazing cows during a serene Texas sunrise.
James West, our Director of Video + Content, said this shot really stands out among all the video footage we captured. “I think it’s a huge tone setter,” he said. “It’s organic, the cows are roaming free. … [It] was this perfect, dewy, kind of hazy shot.”
The commercial also features the broad range of Texans who love 1836 Farms’ organic, preservative-free milk. West said that driving around Texas for those two days, meeting all types of folks in the 1836 Farms family, showed how genuine the “Texan in all of us” message really was.
A Texas-Sized Response
The three bottle designs garnered huge interest across Texas. Facebook and Instagram posts promoting the bottles exceeded a whopping 1.3 million impressions, with more than 14,000 engagements and 10,000 link clicks.
The news media campaign also proved quite fruitful. When Texas Monthly shared the article with its nearly half-
million Facebook followers, the post received more than 120 likes, more than 130 comments, and more than 10 shares. In other words, it was true thought leadership.
The success of these campaigns made three things clear: Texans love Texas, Texans love milk, and Texans love 1836 Farms.
Ideas Collide learned a lot on these campaigns. For our video team, it reaffirmed how we deliver high-quality work at any budget level — “that’s what we can hang our hat on,” West said, mentioning the “small-but-mighty” approach to client work that has long been our agency’s calling card.
Claudia Kunkel was a big reason for that client trust. Through her years of working with Danzeisen Dairy, Kunkel’s relationships there have evolved beyond a business partnership and into true friendship. This undoubtedly carried over to 1836 Farms.
So yes, when it comes to milk, there are worlds between Arizona and Texas, but our core approach remained the same.
“The collaboration, and the close ties with your client, are really important — I think that’s an important message,” Kunkel said. “You have to act almost as if you’re an employee of that client. You have to just be with them step by step.”
We’ll raise a cold glass of milk to that.
- 1836 Farms
- Consumer Brands
- Brand Strategy
- Video + Multimedia
- Paid Media
- Public Relations
- Telly Award – Silver (Local TV – Cinematography)
- Aaron Vance
- James West
- Nicholas Winter
- Bobby Boland
- Mason Byrne
- Claudia Kunkel
- Kylie Dukes
- Zanna Sarama