Shine Lion Shine United

Case Study: Integrated Brand Campaign

Wisconsin Cheese

Driving preference and building a community

Case Studies / Wisconsin Cheese


When people think about Wisconsin, they typically think about cheese. But when people think about cheese, they don't necessarily think about Wisconsin. For both upscale and everyday cheese shoppers, this latent awareness was at the very heart of the problem that the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board tasked Shine with over a decade ago — a long-lasting partnership with a shared mission to get more consumers thinking about, talking about, and ultimately, buying and eating more Wisconsin cheese.

To put a finer point on it, despite consistently winning more awards than its American and even European counterparts, consumers perceived that Wisconsin cheese was “old-fashioned and ordinary.” After years of award-centric advertising and public relations efforts that failed to make a significant dent in these perceptions, Shine embarked on a bold new approach — strategically, creatively and tactically.

From a creative standpoint, our mission was to attack any perceptions of “ordinary” by being contemporary, desirable and premium in everything we did.


In a word: Bold. In order to increase awareness and relevance of Wisconsin cheesemakers, we needed to radically reconsider every part of the historical approach to brand investment. This started with a more focused target audience, directing our limited national consumer budget toward Food Enthusiasts and Moms with a Passion — and seeking to gain a corresponding ripple effect via these converted brand believers.

From a creative standpoint, our mission was to attack any perceptions of “ordinary” by being contemporary, desirable and premium in everything we did. From concept to execution, from handcrafted type to high-minded copy, every square inch of the brand was reconceived through the lens of consistently overdelivering on "extraordinary".

And given that we were being radically outspent by our primary competitors, we sought to identify new battlefields where we could win — hence a first-in-category heavy-up in all things digital. The results? Messaging that consistently outperformed its peers on perceptual lifts and purchase intent. Over 400,000 engaged followers on social media and over 10 million visits to our collection of digital properties. And the highest ever logo awareness in Wisconsin cheese history.

01 / Print Advertising
02 / Outdoor Advertising

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03 / Radio Advertising

Cheese Connection

Cheese Nation

Know That Cheese

04 / Websites / Mobile App

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05 / Social Media

“Shine consistently gives us something to smile about — whether it's a tongue-in-cheek ad for cheddar or the numerous awards generated through our relationship. Awards are always gratifying — but the fact that these ads are effective communications is something that the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Shine United prize above all else.”

— Patrick Geoghegan, senior vice president of corporate communications