Parents have an ally in their effort to get teenagers to drink milk.
He's a fictional rock star named White Gold. And he has produced an online rock opera.
The California Milk Processor Board has launched a new series of television commercials featuring the singer-guitarist, who touts the drink's health benefits.
The five ads, aimed at teens and young adults in California, urge them go online and watch "Battle for Milkquarious," a 20-minute opera with White Gold as writer, producer and star.
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"This is what he would do," Steve James, the board's executive director, said of the not-so- shy character. "He would produce this rock opera about himself."
The opera chronicles White Gold's quest to save his hometown of Milkquarious from a milk shortage. The performer, whom parents
might associate with an '80s hair band, also educates young people about the health benefits of milk.
The campaign includes a contest inviting public high school students to make their own videos. Students have until Dec. 20 to recreate one of the scenes from the rock opera and submit them online to www.milkquarious.com.
The judging, done partially by online voting, will result in 10 students sharing $50,000 for their school art programs.
The processor board, based in San Clemente, promotes fluid milk. It is best-known for its "Got Milk?" campaign, featuring celebrities with milk mustaches and some memorable commercials.
A separate group, the Modesto-based California Milk Advisory Board, promotes the full range of dairy products. It's behind the "happy cows" campaign, including a new online vote for fanciful cows vying to represent the industry.
This group also has new videos of real-life dairy farmers talking about their work. They include Johan Bartelink of Escalon leading one of his frequent tours for schoolchildren.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2385.