Lipton Ice Tea had lost relevance with its heartland 18-24 year old consumers. It lost its ‘alternative cool’ derived from being the new kid on the block over 10 years ago when it arrived as an answer to Coke. In 2012 Lipton Ice Tea slipped from the irreverent challenger brand, to one that was daggy and hadn’t innovated for years - disastrous in a category where growth is fuelled by innovation.
To address this, Mindshare was charged with getting more young people to drink Lipton Ice Tea. The goal was to shift penetration amongst 18-24 year olds from 43 to 47% by stealing share from Coke- an increase translating to 25% turnover growth. The key challenge for media was that it needed traction in market in October and again in February to support retailers- a lengthy six month campaign period on a standard launch budget.
While it had an exciting world first product innovation with ‘Virgin Cocktails’, from a communications perspective it had little more than a product shot to combat against Australia’s most iconic summer brand Coca Cola. Therefore it identified that media’s task was to go beyond a traditional campaign and create an unmissable summer experience for 18-24 year olds that would re-instate Lipton Ice Tea’s ‘alternative cool’ status.
The insight was driven by a cultural phenomenon that has now become part of the everyday vernacular- FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. This anxiety, fuelled by the belief that if you don’t attend that party or event you could be missing out on something epic, was the starting point in understanding these notoriously fickle consumers.
Real life experiences drive FOMO. The approach was to harness the power of this ‘Experience Economy’ and captalise on the lust to collect, capture and share as many experiences as possible.
Insight: In their experience fuelled FOMO world the humble photograph has become the currency of self-expression for 18-24 year olds. Take one of the world’s highest smartphone penetrations and longest time spent on social media and it’s no surprise that Australian youth have gone photo mad.
Clearly Lipton was onto something. Evidenced by Instagram’s extraordinary growth and Facebook changing its algorithms and layout to promote photo posts, photos are having a resurgence because despite now existing mostly virtually, photographs are used by the target as a tangible expression and proof that they are experiencing life to the fullest.
The strategy was simple. Lipton would own the most viral and impactful channel, the photograph, to facilitate and amplify these unmissable summer experiences. To do this it created THE LIPTON ‘SNAPS OF SUMMER’ TOUR: a unique ‘no-line’ (digital and real world) experience that curated photos of consumers’ ultimate summer experiences.
It needed some serious credibility to overcome slipping brand perception and needed it fast. Not to mention the need to cost-efficiently sustain engagement across Summer.
The answer: The agency created a summer long partnership with ‘Pedestrian. TV’ - the authority of cool and Aussie pop culture. This not only allowed it to borrow that much needed credibility but more importantly it knew they had a ‘Pedestrian Photography Award’ platform that would be the perfect way to bring the strategy to life. The team worked closely with them to evolve this property to incorporate its own ‘Lipton’s Snaps of Summer’ category.
It then extended the awards to create its own unmissable summer experience with three distinct phases targeting a different level of participation amongst the target. A call for submissions attracted influencers - the photographers. The voting phase with strong social reach enticed the curators. While the majority group of voyeurs couldn’t help indulging in the content from the pool party themed events as part of the ‘Lipton Ice Tea Summer Snaps Exhibition Tour’ of the winning photographs across Australia. This theme linked to the more traditional communications that featured a Pool Party TVC and Outdoor that followed the partnership activity.
This collaboration provided fresh, relevant content for Lipton Ice Tea to use across its owned channels all summer long and push this launch beyond a traditional paid advertising campaign. The best bit? Lipton Ice Tea became the curators of Australian youths’ most unmissable summer experiences, seamlessly connecting their online and offline worlds.
The campaign resulted in Unilever’s most successful innovation led launch of the past year. Its penetration goal of 47% was reached half way through the campaign in December 2012 – before the traditional TV advertising had begun. It can discount any other variables as this was the key activity running and tied into all elements of the brand activity.
What about sales? At the campaign end in March 2013 sales were ahead of the 25% turnover forecast. The launch drove 6+% category growth within beverages while market share for Lipton Ice Tea grew +12.
The ambition to own the most viral and impactful channel was achieved with never before seen Unilever and Category Facebook interaction rates (shares, likes or comments) on its promoted brand post featuring the winning photo of the Lipton Summer Snaps with an incredible 140,000 interactions. The partnership with ‘Pedestrian.TV’ resulted in their most social campaign ever with a social reach of 4.8m impressions.
Most importantly, the brand saw a dramatic increase in brand perceptions. Bespoke research revealed a 55% increase in purchase intent as a result of seeing the activity from the Lipton Ice Tea and ‘Pedestrian.TV’ partnership.