SHOW CASE: Beach party for Lipton Ice Tea - Lipton Ice Tea is on a mission to turn the UK on to its taste. At the heart of the campaign is a touring beach area. Mike Fletcher reports from the party in Guildford

Take a holiday in the US, Portugal or France and the brand Lipton

Ice Tea conjures up memories of summer evenings, drinking peach or lemon

flavours. Last year, if you had mentioned ice tea to the majority of UK

consumers they'd have probably thought of cold tea with a slice of


Lipton Ice Tea's presence at the Guildford music festival in Stoke Park,

Surrey over the first weekend in August is part of an ongoing mission of

thirst recovery and brand awareness in the UK. Last year, the brand

toured festivals and high footfall events with a limousine and a big

yellow fire engine quenching consumer thirst. The company handed out

200,000 samples.

This summer, Lipton Ice Tea has reworked the format and is aiming to

reach more than 800,000 people in its target age range of 18 to 30 year

olds at more than 40 events across the country.

"We tested some initial field concepts last year and we've expanded it

to take in the whole of the UK. We are bringing the brand presence in

line with the rest of Europe and using one global image," Lipton Ice Tea

channel activation manager Gaelle Bouchard says.

The image has been designed and implemented by brand experience agency

RPM and comprises a 28 sq m beach environment made up of heavily branded

volleyball courts, two Baywatch-style watchtowers, beach buggies and a

recovery shack with a bar, DJs and a massage area.

"We looked at the brand benefits that included living life to the full

and being healthy. We decided a tongue-in-cheek beach scene fitted these

criteria and Lipton's headline sponsorship of the British Beach

Volleyball Grand Prix," RPM account director Caroline Jones says.

Sponsoring sport

Lipton Ice Tea's involvement with the beach volleyball tournament is the

first time the brand has sponsored a sporting event. The tournament

began in June and runs until 24 August with coverage being broadcast by

Sky Sports. The field campaign kicked off in May and reached the

Guildford Music festival via air-shows, gay London festival Mardi Gras

and dance music events such as the Essential festival and the summer

Gatecrasher event.

"We're also a co-sponsor of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival so we've got

joke booths and branded screens which will broadcast the best jokes at

the end of the event," Bouchard says. "We've also secured a really good

position at the top of Ladbroke Grove for this month's Notting Hill

carnival where we will have one of the watchtowers and a team of


One important factor for Lipton was that the equipment had to be


"We had to be able to split up the experience up so we could re-use it

on various scales at different events. The equipment is hard-wearing but

light and easy to assemble and pack away. So far it has worked really

well," Jones says. "Trial and product awareness are important and the

environment should be relaxing and memorable. It is important to come

back year on year so that we become an established place that people

will associate with the brand."

Hitting the right notes

Lipton carried out extensive research during the past year to ensure

that its Thirst Recovery campaign would hit the right chord with the


Its established place on the shelves of US supermarkets has seen Lipton

Ice Tea become a household name, and in less than ten years since its

launch into France, ice tea is the third best selling soft drink after

Coke and Gini. According to Bouchard the brand resell rate in UK stores

is about 50%.

"We researched a taste triangle and found that when you are thirsty you

drink water, when you are having fun with friends you drink cola and

when you want something healthy, you drink orange juice," Bouchard says.

"We are positioning ourselves in the middle of this triangle, fulfilling

the needs of all the other products. The brand is fun but it is not

cola, it is healthy but it is not orange juice and it is natural but

it's not water."

Lipton also researched the possibility of adding alcohol to the drink to

appeal to the stereotypical festival attendee. The result was a

cocktail, The Mad Hatter. The research concluded that the benefits of

word of mouth, trial and experience far outweighed above-the-line

marketing methods.

"We have increased in-store visibility with sampling teams and we will

continue to build the campaign. Next year we will build up the brand's

international presence and focus heavily on the trial and experience of

the UK model," Bouchard continues. "We don't believe that using more

traditional forms of marketing and advertising is the way forward at

this juncture.

We will eventually use other media but most of our budget will always go

on sampling because it has an instant effect and immediately converts

people's perceptions."

"The only way we can change the UK perception of ice tea and inform

consumers of its values is to make them try it to appreciate it.

Everywhere young consumers have gone this summer we have had a presence

and when they were thirsty, we gave them Lipton Ice Tea."


Paul Flemming, 36, Nimlok production office manager

"I'm not keen on the drink itself but the environment is fun, bright and

sends out the right kind of message. They are definitely going about it

the right way to try to change people's perceptions."

Sharon Jones, 17, student

"It's really nice. I've never tried the drink before but I have heard of

it. The beach volleyball activity looks like a lot of fun and is

attracting much attention. My boyfriend and I could definitely take on

all comers. The people playing at the moment don't look very good."

Louisa Rogerson, 18, student

"The beach volleyball is an excellent idea because it's free and really

good fun. Ice tea is yummie. I've tried the peach flavour but I prefer

lemon. I used to drink it all the time when I lived in the US and we

still buy it over here and drink it at home."

William Pavey, 16, student

"I came to the Guildford festival last year and tried Lipton Ice Tea

then. They have done a much better job promoting the drink here this

year and the inflatable volleyball court is a great idea. I do like the

drink but I'm not sure I would choose it over cola or water."


Client: Lipton Ice Tea

Design: RPM

Event: Guildford music festival

Venue: Stoke Park

Budget: undisclosed

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