In China, milk company 'comes out' to support Apple CEO

Anchor's message for Tim Cook.
Anchor's message for Tim Cook.

Anchor's "Dare to Be the Real You" message rides a wave of social-media approval of Tim Cook's announcement he's gay

SHANGHAI — When Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly came out at the end of October, saying he was "proud to be gay," the buzz on China's social media platforms was overwhelming, and Anchor milk jumped on the hot topic.

Many netizens acknowledged that choosing to reveal personal sexual preference is more likely to be respected today than in earlier years within China, and admired Cook’s courage to 'be real'.

The brand took the opportunity to boast about the "realness" of its milk product within 24 hours of Cook’s news. It posted an article on Chinese social-media platforms WeChat and Weibo titled ‘Dare to be the real you; we salute courage.’ The goal was not only to pay a tribute to Cook, but reiterate Anchor's brand promise.

The core message was designed to counteract a market bias that milk must be thick and creamy to offer nutrition. Anchor's stance is these measures are no guarantee because the qualities could just as easily come from added emulsifiers or other chemicals.

As an imported milk brand entering China's premium UHT market in August 2013, Anchor milk faced consumer doubts because it tasted 'light', and was overshadowed by past milk advertisements claiming only thick and creamy milk is more nutritious.

However, the New Zealand brand said it is proud to be in the minority, just like Cook, in an attempt to strike a chord with milk-drinkers.

"Because our cows eat more grass instead of fodder," the brand explained.

This story originally appeared on

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