Le Lait sneaking into showrooms

Thanks to Touché PHD, fridges in some furniture showrooms in Montreal contain cartons of milk.

Le Lait is testing out a new kind of product placement: stealthily slipping milk cartons into furniture showroom fridges.

Ten locations of popular Quebec chain Brault & Martineau in the greater Montreal area were stocked with Le Lait cartons during May and June, strategically placed in pairs to reinforce Le Lait’s ‘two is better’ positioning.

‘It’s a new way to advertise,’ says marketing director Nicole Dubé of the Quebec Federation of Milk Producers, who says she’s thinking of testing the tactic in other markets in the fall. ‘Every year we try to do something different.’

Dubé adds that, so far, people have been startled to see full fridges while shopping. ‘It’s a good surprise,’ she says, although she adds that she wouldn’t want to overdo the tactic. ‘I won’t do this every year. Maybe every two or three years.’

The idea to hook up with the popular store came from Montreal-based Touché PHD, and Dubé says the chain’s salespeople have gone above and beyond expectations. One of her colleagues went to check out the promo discreetly the day after it launched. She pretended to be shopping for a fridge, and feigned surprise when she opened the door and saw milk cartons. She asked the salesperson why the fridge was full of milk, and he responded by talking up milk’s benefits rather than explaining it was a paid placement.

Dubé says the dairy farmers have grown comfortable with her experimenting with new ad tactics. ‘They say, ‘Do whatever you want; as long as it increases sales, we don’t care.” She adds that the promo was inexpensive. ‘It’s a very small amount of my budget. But sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference.’