Honest Tea on TV

BETHESDA, Maryland

Coca-Cola owned Honest Tea rolled out its most extensive and expensive advertising campaign this week and introduced a new tagline “Refreshingly Honest™.”

The animated spotfeatures three leaves and a sour-looking lemon attempting to break into an empty bottle of the popular organic brand tea. Their antics fail and pair of hands emerges placing a real lemon and real tea leaves next to the bottle.

A male voice explains “We brew real organic tea leaves add real organic ingredients, and it’s just a tad sweet. Because if it’s not real, it’s not honest.”

This is the company’s first TV commercials which will run stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and Seattle along with digital video, social media, billboards and municipal transit posters.

 “Refreshingly Honest™ has multiple meanings for us,” said Honest Tea’s co-founder, President and TeaEO Seth Goldman. “It reflects not only the delicious, lightly-sweetened taste of our drinks and the use of real, organic ingredients, but also the honest and transparent nature in which we strive to conduct our business.”

The company, which has expanded from 15,000 to more than 100,000 outlets since Coke first invested in the brand in 2008. Coke acquired the company in 2011.

 “We are committed to bringing organics to more people,” said Goldman, “And now that we have increased our distribution, we need to make people aware of our products.”

“The television ad is a playful way to highlight the fact that we make our drinks with real, organic tea leaves and ingredients,” said Honest Tea’s Vice President of Marketing Peter Kaye. The fake lemon and leaves promote the company’s Half & Half organic tea with lemonade. “We hope the spots will provoke consumers to think about what goes into the beverages they are consuming,” said Kaye.

“To me, it’s an evolution in media channels that we’re using, but it is very consistent in terms of our messaging," Kaye told AdWeek. "We’re just trying to bring it to many, many more people. And there’s nothing like television, with sight, sound and motion, to really tell your story.”

The brand’s media spending totaled less than $1 million in both 2011 and 2010, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online outlays, however.

In addition to media, the company will host three thousand grassroots events and in-store demonstrations and sample extensively at concerts, festivals, and retail locations.

“There is no better way to convince someone to try Honest Tea than by engaging with them directly, person to person,” said Kaye. “Our teams are passionate about the brand, and that’s why the continued regional events are the foundation of our “Refreshingly Honest™” campaign.”

Sources: Honest Tea, Ad Week