Dairy farming and hardcore video gaming aren’t things you typically think of at the same time. But the times are changing, and Dairy Management Incorporated is changing with it. Sustainable dairy farming and how dairy foods are produced are increasingly interesting to consumers, especially for Generation Z. That generation is typically considered to be young people ranging in age from their early teens to early 20s. DMI CEO Tom Gallagher says the idea is to meet the next generation of consumers where they’re at. Nine out of ten kids in that age group play video games.
“90 percent of Gen Z plays games, and let’s define Gen Z as early teens to early 20s. They play a lot of games, but Minecraft is the game that we’re focused on right now. That has about even participation from boys and girls, so that’s excellent that we can work with both (genders.) And we’re going to work with four very popular gamers in Minecraft.”
Joanna Hunter is the Executive Vice President of Communications with DMI. She says they’re excited to engage with members of Generation Z on a platform in which they are already engaged.
“We are going to work with four gaming influencers who have a combined reach of over 120 million, and each of these influencers is going to take part in a virtual farm visit. They’re going to visit farms from different areas across the country, with different sizes and sustainability practices. After that farm visit, they’re going to take what they’ve learned on that visit and build a dairy farm in Minecraft. They may challenge each other on who can build the best dairy farm. They may challenge their followers to build dairy farms of their own, but the goal is for them to engage in that sustainability story and how farmers are working to bring a nutritious, sustainable project to that audience.”
Hunter says DMI is working with some of the top gamers in the nation and the gamers’ followers will start to see dairy-related content in the next couple of weeks, and that content will continue through November. Colorado dairy farmer Aric DeJager is scheduled to give the gamers a virtual tour of his operation.
“My role in it is to show these guys around the dairy on something like FaceTime, and they’re going to go on Minecraft and build a simulated replica of the dairy. And why that’s important is they’ll have 40 million people watch them build a dairy on Minecraft, and so you have all these kids, all these young and impressionable people watching this. It’s going to be insanely impressionable so I’m excited to see what these guys are working on and how they modernize the way that they market.”
Gallagher says this won’t be the only new marketing channel DMI will look into during the next 12 months.
“This year, you’re going to see us test a few things. We’re going to do some things with Minecraft that we spoke about here. With GenYouth and Fuel Up and Play 60, we’re going to do some things with NFL Madden. We’re going to do some things at retail; each retailer is creating their own media cloud as TV and other kinds of advertising have subsided or become less relevant, as companies like Quaker have gone to 70 percent digital, so the retailers are now creating their own channels, so we’re doing tests with them.”