Best in Mustache

‘Got Milk?’ Turns 20: Best Ads From the Iconic Campaign (PHOTOS)

From Dennis Rodman to Britney Spears, the most memorable milk mustaches from the iconic campaign.

Sometimes ad teams are hired to sell sexy new products, cool gadgets, or hip brands. And sometimes they’re hired to sell milk. Yet a product that could not be more boring, can never really be advanced or improved, and which most of the world already knew existed was magically reinvented 20 years ago when ad man Jeff Goodby wrote two ingenious words, “Got Milk?” One of American consumerism’s most effective marketing campaigns was born. The tagline’s origin is head-slapping in its simplicity—a woman in a focus group said, “The only time I even think about milk is when I run out of it.” Goodby scribbled his response, “Got milk?” and the rest is history. A series of commercials and print campaigns capitalizing on that anxiety—realizing you’re out of milk only after the cereal is poured—enlisted a slew of famous faces to don milk mustaches and ask the iconic two-word question. In honor of the campaign’s 20-year anniversary, here’s a look back at some of the most memorable “Got Milk?” ads.

Steven Tyler

Never before—and never again—was the Got Milk? campaign given a canvas to mustache that measured up to the mouth of Steven Tyler.

Kim Cattrall

Wait. A thick white liquid on the mouth of Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones and “you should see what’s underneath” is the best pun they could come up with?

Hanson

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the “MMMBop” singers participated in a MMMMilk campaign, as they were all still-growing young MMMMen. It’s adorable to see the Hanson brothers all with MMMMilk MMMMustaches—as we all know the real deal was still a few years away for at least two of them.

Alex Trebek

Milk mustache on one of America’s most iconic mustaches. Brilliant advertising.

Billy Ray Cyrus

A lot can change in two decades. For example, an entirely different generation of Cyrus is the one making news on a daily basis. Still, the passage of time doesn’t make any less of a delight to revisit Billy Ray Cyrus’s epic mullet, or read “Achy Breaky Heart” puns. Take this milk ad, for example: “If you won’t listen to my advice on achy breaky hearts, maybe you’ll listen to what the American Heart Association has to say.” (They have to say that 1 percent and skim milk is good for your heart—but, you know, that wasn’t nearly as fun to line-dance to.)

David Beckham

Milk does a body good. Clearly. 

Martha Stewart

God bless, the Got Milk? campaign. Even if it hadn’t helped raise awareness of the health benefits of milk or gone on to become one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the past two decades, it gifted us this image of Martha Stewart dressed in overalls posing in a field with a cow. That’s a good thing.

Joan Rivers

It takes a strong constitution to weather all those plastic surgeries, so it’s no surprise that Joan Rivers was one of the first celebrities to shill for milk and all of its healthful properties. In this ad, she’s squawking the praises of skim milk: “Can we talk? Fattening? Oh grow up. This is skim milk.” While today’s Fashion Police-era Rivers would no doubt hail the milk’s slimming effects—“no more problem thighs,” she asserts in the ad—we’re not sure how she’d feel about a white upper lip on the red carpet.

Dennis Rodman

The brilliant thing about a white milk mustache? It complements neon hair. Dennis Rodman’s bad-boy braggadocio poured through his ad, which proclaimed his body “a temple” and “milk the drink of the gods.” The average man? He needs three glasses a day to reach his recommended calcium intake. Rodman’s response: “Maybe I should drink six.”

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Here’s where we remind you how cute Jonathan Taylor Thomas was.

Austin Powers

Let’s count the Austin Powers puns in this Got Milk? ad. “Baby, yeah!”: check. A reference to his “mojo”: check. “Oh, behave”: check. The ad’s one misfire? Not reassuring consumers that drinking more milk has no direct effect on the growth of chest hair.

Kermit the Frog

Since it began employing famous faces to promote its brand, milk has mustached the mugs of dozens of non-human celebrities, ranging from Spongebob Squarepants to the Powerpuff Girls to Kermit the Frog. The message of Mr. Frog’s ad: It ain’t easy being green…but it is easy to get enough calcium in your diet. Just drink milk! Ay-o!

Serena and Venus Williams

Back when Venus and Serena Williams posed for this ad in 1999, all anyone needed was to watch dizzyingly as the sisters rocketed tennis balls across the court at speeds that defy physics to be convinced that milk is, you know, good for you.

Britney Spears

All any little girl needed to see in 2000 to convince her to drink milk was a precocious Britney Spears as a little girl (with an adorable PhotoShopped milk mustache) side by side with the all-grown pop star in all her glamorous glory—and still holding a tall glass of the white stuff. The invaluable lesson here: drinking milk will turn you into Britney Spears. (Of course, that was a far more enticing life lesson a decade ago.)

Heidi Klum

Dressing Heidi Klum as a milk maid is an ingenious stunt second only to the tagline that accompanies the ensemble: “Haute cowture.” Two words almost as brilliant as “Got milk?”