Tetley launches first vitamin and mineral fortified teas

The beverage brand is trying to move away from its legacy line of orange pekoe into health-focused specialty teas.

The famous nursery rhyme “I’m a little teapot” is Tetley’s new muse.

For the first time in Canada, the brand launched three teas fortified with vitamins and minerals – called immune, boost and antiox – under the label “super teas” on Oct. 3. To promote the new line, its latest 30-second spot titled “Not Your Average Cup of Tea” features women from different walks of life, like a Muay Thai fighter, motorcycle rider and firefighter, singing the nursery rhyme nonchalantly while drinking their cups of tea.

“Most innovations in tea have really been about changes in flavor,” says Joyce O’Connor, senior brand manager at Tata Global Beverages Canada. “As a CPG company, we cannot outright tell you that what we are offering is healthy and, hence, we needed a disruptive campaign that elevated this tea as one that gives you the right vitamins and minerals.”

The brand is also engaging its customers in an experiential event called “Super Tea Break” taking place in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood the weekend of Oct. 19. The event will display a wall of tea cups with words such as “dainty” or “fragile” engraved on them. Participants get to choose a cup that has a word they dislike or want to get rid of, take the cup to a rage room, suit up and smash it with a bat, which the brand believes is symbolic of breaking stereotypes associated with women.

“We have a product that is breakthrough with a functional benefit, and the perfect foil for that is the dainty, traditional work of tea advertising,” says Lance Martin, chief creative officer and partner at Union, the agency that worked on the campaign. Craft Public Relations, Black Rock Marketing Group (in-store POS and sampling), THP Social (handling social media) and Mediacom have been the other agency partners in the integrated campaign development.

The omnichannel campaign launched with preroll ad buys, social media promotions and TV spots. The brand will also be distributing sample sachets through magazines such as Best Health and Canadian Living. Tetley will also be holding in-store sampling across its stores.

The brand usually targets women between 25 to 54 years old in most of its campaigns, but for this one, it worked to pitch the specialty teas to an audience called the “liberal-experimental.” O’Connor says that this is based on psychographic segmentation and includes those who are experimental and into things like fitness routines, take care of their health and focus on healthy cooking.

“As a brand leader, we have the consumers’ trust on our side,” says O’Connor of Tetley being in a position to experiment with new products, something it is looking to make consumers more aware of, “People only associate Tetley with orange pekoe, but the idea is to move away from that and generate awareness around the brand becoming health conscious by stepping into specialty tea ranges.” In its previous campaign with Ayurveda flavoured tea, the brand found it tricky to penetrate easily into the market and educate its tea drinkers.

“Hopefully this one breaks through with the message that at Tetley, we have a variety of SKUs, 45 to be precise.”