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Spark44 Rebrand Tetley

Tetley drops Tetley Tea Folk in exchange for cats and dogs


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

October 7, 2019 | 3 min read

Tetley Tea has been given a fresh rebrand, despite the fact it experienced a drop in sales last time it axed the Tetley Tea Folk.

Spark44 gives transforms Tetley Tea brand with 360 degree relaunch

Spark44 gives transforms Tetley Tea brand with 360 degree relaunch

The cloth-capped cartoon characters have been representing the Tetley Tea brand since 1973.

In 2002, the characters were deemed too old fashioned, and the tea manufacturer shelved them for a £15m advertising campaign that showed various scenarios of people excelling themselves. However, the decision to axe the Tetley Tea Folk from its ads after 28 years resulted in a dramatic drop in sales and they were brought back in 2010.

To help it target a wider, and more diverse audience, the tea brand has decided to rebrand, which will help it stand out against a competitive market place. It, therefore, engaged Spark44 to help it redefine its brand positioning and to increase relevancy for a modern audience.

Spark44 developed the emotional territory of “togetherness” and accompanying strategy around getting the conversation flowing. “Whilst the Tetley Tea Folk represented the brand, the cat and dog represent the people and real conversation,” says Liz Wolstenholme, planning director at Spark44.

Based on the insight that 'nothing gets us talking like a cup of tea', its 'Now We're Talking' TV spot sees two pets relaxing after their owners leave the house. After the dog puts the kettle on, he and the cat enjoy a cup of Tetley together, mirroring everyday conversations people have on their sofa at home.

The cat and dog, an unlikely friendship, works to demonstrate that Tetley gets anyone talking.

The campaign will be brought to life on social, by posing conversation starters such as ‘Milk first? Or milk last?’, ‘Brew? Or cuppa?’, ‘Strong? Or milky?’.

Discussing the campaign, Cassie Shuttlewood, marketing manager UK and Ireland, Tata Global Beverages said: “Our mission is to re-establish Tetley Tea as a category leader by transforming our already much-loved brand and making it more modern and for everyone. By creating and implementing an emotionally engaging idea that Tetley can own across every consumer touch point and channel.”

Adding to this, Dudley Desborough, Spark44’s London managing director said: “With the 'Now We’re Talking' campaign we want to remind people just how good it feels to sit down with someone and have a chat face to face over a cuppa. It’s a compelling idea that we’re confident will elevate the Tetley Tea brand and deliver the results it deserves.”

Tetley: advert-body-1 by Spark44

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