Can 6,000 bags of green tea purify Donald Trump?

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | July 19, 2016
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Kolkata-based tea brand TE-A-ME seems to think so. A look at the unconventional ad campaign that's got netizens across the world talking about #TeaForTrump.

Te-A-Me, a Kolkata-based tea brand owned by the 70-year-old company Madhu Jayanti International, recently launched its digital campaign #TeaForTrump, for its green tea. The digital film has been conceptualised by Fisheye Creative Solutions, a Bengaluru-based creative agency.

According to a source close to the company, the brand has spent a little above Rs 1.5 crore for the campaign.

TE-A-ME's new digital film

Interestingly, the film titled 'Trumping Donald' features two Indian women from TE-A-ME, who deliver 6,000 green tea bags to none other than Republican nominee and US Presidential candidate Donald Trump to help him cleanse himself and make him smarter. Not just that, US citizens, too, have left a message for him in the video to have tea.

TE-A-ME's new digital film

And, hang on... there's one more message in the video film straight from India. And, this message is flashed across giant screens near Trump Tower in New York. It reads: "Dear Mr Trump, Namaste from India. We are sending you lots and lots of natural green tea. It fights against harmful free radicals. It helps purify mind and body and regain a healthy balance. It has also proven to make people smarter. Please, Mr Trump, drink the tea. For your sake, for America's sake, for the world's sake. Drink the tea because it is never too late to cleanse yourself".

TE-A-ME's new digital film

The campaign has gone viral in four days and has crossed a viewership of 3.2 million on Facebook and YouTube put together. The video has, moreover, generated 17,100 tweets and 1,30,000 likes and comments on Facebook.

TE-A-ME's new digital film

We asked Sumit Shah, executive director, Madhu Jayanti International, about the idea behind the campaign, and if the brand launch was the reason behind shooting it in New York. This is what he had to say.

"No, we are not present in New York currently, and we do not intend to launch it there as of now. The reason was (Donald) Trump and that he stays in New York is purely coincidental. As a company, the only thing we wanted to do was to spread awareness of the benefits of green tea, or tea in general," says Shah.

Sumit Shah

Orko Basu

When asked if Trump was chosen because he is contesting for the next Presidential elections in USA, Shah says, "Yes, that was one of the reasons, but there was so much negative talk happening about Trump at the time, it just made a lot of sense sending the tea bags to him."

Considering that the digital film was shot in New York, we asked Shah about its target audience.

"My target group (TG) are Indians, in the age group of 25-40 years, Male and Female, A and B+, and who are health conscious. But, the TG for this campaign, is also the entire world since the objective was to spread awareness about the benefits of having tea," he says.

Talking about the challenges faced while shooting the film, Orko Basu, creative head, Fisheye Creative Solutions, says, "There were multiple challenges. The first one was that with an idea like this, you need a client to buy it and TE-A-ME is the gutsiest brand I have ever worked with. Second, given Trump's profile, the security was absolutely intense because there was an assassination attack on him before we delivered the tea so pulling off a delivery like that was challenging."

He further adds, "This being a political subject, there were a lot of American partners who liked the idea, but didn't want to be a part of it. In the end, we had to produce the film and execute the delivery. It was a multi-city international effort. It took us five months from the time of the presentation of the idea, to the execution of the film."

Honey Singh

Honey Singh, co-founder, Arm Digital Media, a Delhi-based outfit that has worked on the real-time digital marketing for this campaign, says over a quick phone call, "...everything was done within the first 24 hours. We targeted our audience through digital content marketing, through YouTube ads and other social media ads. We reached out to Indians in the US. We sent real-time tweets to US-based journalists..." to keep them looped in about the activation.

Executing this campaign, according to Singh, was all about "an opportune mix of timing, audience targeting, amplification, seeding and cross promotion." He adds in an email statement, "... for the first 72 hours, a team of 11 members at (our agency) worked day and night to capture the real-time emotions and reactions activated through (the hashtag) #TeaForTrump across the globe...." going on to talk about the organic reach the campaign fetched.

We asked our experts if Indians would be tempted to buy the product after watching the digital film, and this is what they had to say.

Mark Mc'Donald, senior creative director, DigitasLBi, India, a digital agency from the house of Publicis.Sapient, says, "I had never heard of TE-A-ME before it popped up on my newsfeed with this activity, so clearly the campaign's got the brand a lot of PR and recognition."

He further adds, "If you are going to do an on-ground activity and use it to generate digital buzz then you should go big and TE-A-ME has gone really big. What better way to make yourself popular than by taking on big, bad Donald Trump?"

Mark Mc'Donald

Navin Kansal

Adding further, Mc'Donald says, "Will this get Indians to drink the tea? Well, the nature of an on-ground activity is such that it isn't so much about who actually witnessed it, but the audience, which consumes the content online, and is therefore, 10 times more. So the chances are if you've seen this and are a tea person, you may be tempted to try the brand. The execution does seem a bit staged and given the ambition of the activity, it would have been nice to see a completely fresh take for the film."

Talking about how differently could the brand have executed it, he says, "What could have been done is to have given the campaign some digital legs, other than just a one-pager microsite. There is a nice opportunity here to get people involved and push Trump to 'purify' himself, but I haven't seen too much of that yet. Right now, it's just limited to a cool on-ground activity, when it could have been much more."

Navin Kansal, national creative director, Indigo Consulting, a digital agency from the house of Leo Burnett, says, "Since the product is green tea, it does cater to a milieu which is likely to be a bit more 'with-it' and therefore would have exposure to what's happening in the rest of the world. The prospect of Trump becoming the US President has captured the imagination of the world at large and India is no exception. This is a ballsy guerrilla move which has garnered a significant amount of earned media for the brand."

He further adds, "The tongue-firmly-in-cheek messaging in the film clearly highlights the benefits of green tea while exhorting Trump to do the same. Since the film is based on the premise of the act itself, it does have elements of a quintessential case study video. However, it does do the job of completing the loop by featuring the url - at the end of the film, where consumers can know more about the product and shop online."

For the record, Madhu Jayanti began its journey in 1942, and exports a variety of tea to 42 different countries.

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