FOOD & DRINK CAMPAIGN: Posh tea becomes overnight success

Whittard of Chelsea has 135 shops across the UK and uses Rain Communications UK for media relations.

Campaign: Pu Erh tea at Whittard of Chelsea
Client: Whittard of Chelsea
PR team: Rain Communications UK
Timescale: January 2008
Budget: c. £2,000

When it spotted a photo of Posh Spice buying Pu Erh tea in a glossy magazine, Rain sprang into action.

Objectives
To position Whittard of Chelsea as the leading tea and coffee specialist on the high street and drive shopper footfall.

Strategy and plan
Aware of the 'Posh effect', Rain gathered recent UK sales figures of the tea brand. It asked Whittard to dig out Japanese studies proving the metabolism-boosting and weight-loss properties of Pu Erh tea. It then launched a media campaign positioning Pu Erh as the latest celebrity weight-loss craze. Within 24 hours, the tea was the new 'brew du jour' and Whittard was cited as a tea and coffee expert.

Measurement and evaluation
The story was picked up across national, consumer, regional, broadcast and online media throughout the first five months of the year. It was also distributed through the Press Association and IRN.

Results
Whittard received an influx of enquiries in its shops, online and to its stockist's number. Pu Erh tea sold out at Whittard of Chelsea stores and sales jumped 495 per cent compared with last year.

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