Lipton Ice Tea is trying to position itself as a tea-based fruit drink for the young urban consumer through its new communication, 'Chai Shy'.
It's an oft-repeated scenario. Boy's family comes to girl's house, girl goes and gets tea, the duo talk it out before deciding to get married. This is how marriages have been fixed for a long time now. However, with many changes in occupation and aspiration, even the traditional institution of marriage has changed. But much as we scoff and make fun of the custom of arranged marriages, the truth is that parents still insist on 'finding the perfect match'.
Lipton Ice Tea's new campaign takes a page off this book and weaves a story of finding the partner through an arranged match. The video shows a young man being persuaded by his mother to meet a girl she has chosen. His refusal slowly turns to acceptance when she 'happens' to visit him at home. They click and start creating a bond. However, not to fall into the trap of boy-sees-girl-who-gets tea for the family scenario, the lady in question offers him a glass of Lipton Ice Tea - signifying the refreshing change in the mindset of the new generation.
Lipton Ice Tea is a global brand selling in more than 100 countries but the challenges and solutions are more local. The brand has been positioning itself as a tea-based fruit drink in India, as opposed to hot tea gone cold. Interestingly, the ready-to-drink iced tea category is still nascent in the country whereas 'hot' tea is rooted in the culture.
Strategically this means that the team needed to create content that would challenge people to try a product they may not normally go for because of their preconceptions of taste. Socially, it wanted to motivate people to try new things in a society that is very respectful of heritage. Culturally, they wanted the message to be an instigator of a wider cultural discussion about opening one's eyes to new things and to pave the way for new interpretations of tradition.
The idea of challenging traditional perceptions goes well with the target audience for the brand. "The mid-20-year-olds early jobbers, is our TG. We would first like to create the ready-to-drink tea category amongst our core audience of urban youth before going nationwide," adds Ghosh. But does it really challenge perception or leave some things to be desired?
Rohit Malkani, chief creative officer, Minority Brand Solutions, has been left with numerous questions after watching the films. Among these are - 'Why is there no real brand connect? Why is the casting so cheesy and the acting so stilted? Why is the film filled with presumptions? Why do you hope to achieve a connect with your audience through this film? And in one simple line he brushes it aside saying, "In the recent invasion of 'branded content' and digital films, this has got to be the bottom of the barrel."
Ray further points out that, "It dilutes the subtle power, the subtle shift in dynamics of that meeting, because it tries to explain and justify it (just as the line "why not" does). Further, the first part often breaks with logic and feels contrived. It's the same as someone explaining a joke before actually cracking the joke. I have to admit that when I first watched it, I didn't like the film much. But then my mind filtered out all the superfluous bits and realised that they concealed a gem. A pity."