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
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.
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
"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
"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
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
"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
Event: Guildford music festival
Venue: Stoke Park