In 2022, got milk? launched the Get Real brand platform to encourage Californian’s to embrace their real and the things they love. got milk? created a hyperbolized music video to show how a world as real as real milk is better all around, and wanted to bring this world to life using the real people, streets and cities of California.
This led us to our hypothesis: what if we could identify, at scale, how people are keeping it real across the state of California; where they go, what they do, how they do it? Could we identify the people and cities that keep it the most real? Technology was the answer to our question.
Leveraging social media APIs, building a custom measurement framework, and creating a user-friendly data visualization, we built an interactive digital map of California that tracked and organized how people in cities across the state were keeping it real. With access to Instagram, Twitter and TikTok APIs, we scraped colloquial hashtags for keeping it real (e.g. #IYKYK, #TBH, #facts) that were being used in online conversations and posts from real people, and activated our authentic influencer network across the state to share their real truths, unadulterated POVs, and stories using our #GetRealMilk hashtag. Over the course of two months, we scraped over 3 million videos, conversations, and posts on social media, visualizing this content geographically with Californian cities on our digital platform, and fostered thousands of online conversations around Get Real. The “Get Real” geolocator became the ultimate resource, helping anyone find or share how to get real in California.
But what’s the point of all this measurement? We knew it wasn’t enough to simply map out these real people and cities, and wanted to provide concrete value to the state and reward the places we identified as the realest. We identified tourism and specifically tour guides as a recognizable platform that we could utilize to showcase & reward the top cities identified by our digital experience, while also providing value for the people of California at large. At the end of October, we stopped scraping our real social media data, ran the numbers and calculated who the Realest 15 cities were in California (weighted by population of course so every city had a fighting chance). Then, we created the Realest Guide to California, made by 100% real people, curated by got milk?. We tapped into our influencer network across these 15 cities and searched high and low for social media content from real people to create a digital travel guide that unearthed hidden gems, off the beaten path hot spots and activities only locals would know (no touristy stuff allowed). In total, The Realest Guide to California featured 45 different local gems across 15 different cities, garnered over 4 million impressions on social across got milk? and influencer channels, had over 400,000 site visits, and received overwhelming positive sentiment from users.