Lipton encourages 'positive' tea drinking in new effort

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NY: Unilever's Lipton brand has kicked off a campaign to encourage people to drink tea more often as part of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NY: Unilever's Lipton brand has kicked off a campaign to encourage people to drink tea more often as part of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

The “Drink Positive” initiative, which includes a national advertising campaign, highlights the brand's classic black tea and promotes the idea of tea being a beverage to drink all the time.

Ryu Yokoi, senior brand manager for Lipton, said the concept for the program came from an exercise the brand did with consumers a year and a half ago where it asked people to make collages while drinking Lipton's black tea. The brand discovered that consumers felt energetic and happy after drinking tea everyday for a week.

“Everyone knows you can drink tea to help you feel better when you're not 100%, but people don't think you can drink tea all the time for that kind of an uplift, and they went from thinking of it as something soothing to something invigorating, and for us that was inspiring,” he explained.

Lipton is engaging consumers around the world with an Instagram contest, inviting them to submit photos from February 4 to March 2 based on inspirational keywords, such as “excitement” or “spontaneous.” One grand prize winner will be chosen for an all-expense paid trip to Lipton's Rainforest Alliance tea estates in Kenya, and 12 other fans will receive a tablet. Aside from the US, participating countries include Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, and Sweden.

Yokoi said the objective of the global contest, which is the brand's first worldwide initiative, is to inspire consumers to drink Lipton black tea so they can encourage other people. Zeno Group is handling the Instagram efforts in North America, as well as blogger and media outreach, and Ogilvy Public Relations is managing the initiative in Europe.

In addition to the photo challenge, the CPG company is focusing on internal communications, added Christine Cea, Unilever's marketing communications director. She said the brand is in the planning stages of launching a “Lipton tea break” program at Unilever's Englewood Cliffs, NJ, headquarters, where tea carts will go around the office.

The brand is also working to engage consumers and fans through relevant lifestyle events and “immersive experiences,” said Cea. Next week, Lipton will attend the Sundance Film Festival, where it will host a gifting lounge for attendees and give them an opportunity to think of the brand's black tea a little differently, she added. 

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