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Peek Inside Honest Tea’s Latest Buzz-Building Brand Campaign


Peek Inside Honest Tea’s Latest Buzz-Building Brand Campaign

Sometimes a campaign can be so simple, it’s absolutely brilliant. And that was definitely the case with Honest Tea.

Using the core of their brand (honesty) as a source of inspiration, they partnered with ad agency SS&K to dream up an ingenious social experiment to find out which city had the most honest people.

The response to their bold marketing move was overwhelming—280 million impressions, 160 press stories, and double-digit sales growth in each market. Even more impressive than the success of their campaign was how they were able to do it. 

Instead of sinking tons of money into traditional advertising, they placed 50 unmanned pop-up kiosks in over 30 cities across the country, with each location stocked full of Honest Tea and Honest Ade.

Each kiosk included signage to let passersby know bottles cost $1 and that payment was on the honor system.

Oh, and they also installed hidden cameras to catch all of the action (and data—we’ll talk more about that later) and posted the videos on Youtube.

In other words, they got creative.

And that creativity is what got them noticed. For small business owners, their campaign is a great example of just what you can accomplish without having to break the bank on advertising.

Sure Honest Tea probably spent a pretty penny given the scale and scope of their promotion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something similar in your local market.

Honest Tea could have just stopped with the pop-up kiosks but they didn’t. They also decided to compile the information they collected from those hidden cameras to create an “Honesty Index” that ranks cities based on—you guessed it—the honesty of their residents.

Honest Tea 5 Most Honest Cities in America Infographic

They even launched a “National Honesty Index” website. Absolutely brilliant. That got even more people talking about them and helped to propel their campaign onto a national stage.

What about you?

How might you be able to use good old-fashioned grassroots marketing to involve your audience and generate some buzz? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


[Images: Honest Tea]

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