Tetley seeks out balance

A TED Talk-inspired wellness event was the latest in an educational integrated campaign for the brand's Ayurvedic line of teas.

Tetley Ayurvedic Balance Ad

Tetley is tapping into consumer interest in holistic wellness with a campaign that aims to educate them on a practice they might not know they’re looking for.

On Saturday, Tetley hosted a “Tea Talk,” a TED Talk-inspired symposium featuring speakers like “yoga instructor to the stars” Yogi Cameron and chef Lauren Marshall talking about health, wellness and Ayurvedic system of alternative medicine. For those that couldn’t be one of the 200 people in attendance at the event in Toronto, the event was live-streamed over Facebook.

Ayurveda is an alternative medicine with roots in India that is based around the idea of finding balance. Joyce O’Connor, brand manager for Tetley at Tata Global Beverages, says that while 61% of consumers did not know what Ayurveda was, 75% were interested in the idea of balance and learning more about it.

“We had to drive education not just around our teas, but Ayurveda as a whole,” O’Connor says. “That’s why this sort of TED-style symposium made so much sense. We could bring in leading experts from across North America to talk about it from different perspectives, from health to beauty to food.”

The “Tea Talk” was part of a wider integrated campaign for the brand’s Ayurvedic line of teas. Launched in the fall, it has included print ads and sampling activations at health and wellness-focused events like the Whole Life Expo and the National Women’s Show, as well as a heavy focus on social leading up to the event, including ticket giveaways. New online videos, based around the “Tea Talk,” will launch later this month.

Agencies involved in the campaign include John St., Craft Public Relations, THP, Mediacom and Black Rock Marketing.

In addition to educating on the benefits of each of the teas, the idea behind the campaign is to bring the idea of “finding balance” to the forefront. O’Connor says this answers a consumer need to deal with a hectic North American lifestyle without relying too heavily on a form of alternative medicine that most people might not know much about.

“The whole idea behind Ayurveda is about being balanced, so it couldn’t be a better fit and answer for the need we see in society,” she says. “The timing is so perfect right now because a lot more of the holistic elements are coming into the mainstream. Our research suggested that if we positioned the product in a way that was acceptable to consumers by speaking more directly to the idea of balance, they would understand that. Having Ayurveda more as a pillar for that idea in the background would intrigue them to learn more about it.”

While Tetley is leading the tea category in Canada, more consumers are gravitating towards tea and it’s becoming an increasingly crowded category. O’Connor says that Tetley has been focusing on product innovation to hold on to its position, and an Ayurveda-focused product has been in its pipeline for some time as a way to tap into consumer interest in more holistic forms of wellness.

“We don’t just want to put out a new flavour, we want to connect with people in a meaningful and positive way,” O’Connor says. “Our research also showed that consumers felt the Tetley brand fit with that idea, which was great news to us because it gave us permission to go ahead with something that might have been a niche idea and bring it into the mainstream.”