Specialty tea maker Celestial Seasonings wanted to boost coverage for the second year of its sponsorship of the Red Dress Fashion Show for heart-health charity Heart Truth, having gotten little coverage the first time around. It brought in Burson-Marsteller to turn the charity work into an entire campaign touting tea's health benefits.
Celestial Seasonings' customer base is mainly women; heart disease is one of the most pressing issues in women's health. Burson knew that connecting the charity sponsorship, health issue, and scientific benefits of drinking tea would catch the eye of media and customers alike. After much customer research, "[we] ultimately came up with the positioning that Celestial Seasonings is a science-based solution for delivering both physical and emotional benefits," says Tina Ruggiero, who led the account for Burson.
The agency commissioned famed costume designer Brett Cooper to make an entire red dress out of Celestial Seasonings packages. At the same time, the company released two new Red Dress varieties of tea and pledged to donate up to $100,000 from their sale - as well as those of pins being cross-promoted with the tea - to women's heart-health research. Burson also produced a cookbook featuring famous female chefs' recipes with tea ingredients.
Joe Beauprez, Celestial Seasonings senior director of marketing, notes that the average 90-day purchasing cycle of tea makes it hard to calculate the campaign's business impact yet. But the company sold 30,000 boxes of its Red Dress teas, as well as 30,000 pins, and received 4,000 requests for the cookbook.
Burson continues to work with Celestial Seasonings to promote the connection between tea and health.
PR team: Celestial Seasonings (Boulder, CO) and Burson-Marsteller (Chicago)
Campaign: Red Dress benefit for the Heart Truth
Duration: January to March 2006
Budget: Less than $500,000