Celeb, social media outreach give iconic tea a positive lift

Unilever's Lipton tea brand launched the Drink Positive campaign in January to encourage consumers to drink its black tea more often and position it as a beverage for all occasions.

Company
Unilever's Lipton brand
Campaign
Drink Positive
Agency mix
Zeno Group (PR and social media for North America); DDB (creative and digital); Mindshare (media buying)
In-house team
Alfie Vivian, VP of refreshments; Christine Cea, senior marcomms director; Ryu Yokoi, senior brand manager; Harris Goldman, brand manager; and Mollie Crudden, associate brand manager
Budget
About $10 million

Unilever's Lipton tea brand launched the Drink Positive campaign in January to encourage consumers to drink its black tea more often and position it as a beverage for all occasions.

"The campaign will reach a new generation," says Alfie Vivian, VP of refreshments at Unilever, "as it is the first time in more than 20 years that Lipton is focusing on its iconic black tea."

The idea for the effort, which includes PR, national advertising, and revamped packaging, came from a program the brand did where it asked consumers to make collages while drinking Lipton's black tea. A key takeaway was that consumers felt energized and happy after drinking the tea every day for a week.

To build buzz, Lipton launched a global contest on Instagram, inviting consumers to submit photos from February 4 to March 2 based on inspirational words, such as "excitement" or "spontaneous." One grand prize winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Lipton's Rainforest Alliance tea estates in Kenya.

Zeno Group, Lipton's AOR, is working on the Instagram efforts and media and blogger outreach. Lipton, which has never held a global contest, wan-ted to put "inspiration at the core of it," explains Christine Cea, senior marcomms director for Unilever North America.

The brand used its more than 1.8 million Facebook fans to spread the word about the contest. Immersive experiences are an important part of the campaign, so Lipton is engaging its fans through lifestyle events, such as the Sundance Film Festival.

The brand hosted a Lipton Uplift Lounge, a tea bar where festival attendees could sample custom blends. Celebrities that stopped by included actors Jane Lynch and Mekhi Phifer.

Lipton garnered 1 billion media impressions from Sundance in outlets such as People.com, Huffington Post, and Vanity Fair.

"This campaign sets the stage for 2013 as we showcase the brand in different, exciting ways to a new audience," explains Vivian.

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