Globally, tea consumption is on a steady rise, and one of the main drivers of its growth lies in millennial and Gen Z consumers. According to Howard Telford, head of soft drinks research at Euromonitor, younger consumers in the United States tend to “prioritize all-natural and plant-based ingredients.” 2016 data showed that approximately four out of five Americans consumers drink tea, with the most likely being millennials (87 percent). Additionally, wellness tea sales, per SPINscan, are up almost six percent, indicating new opportunities.
To that end, Yogi Tea has launched a unique campaign from Portland-based agency Opinionated that touts the benefits of the wellness tea. In a series of video ads, three yogis perform most impressive feats, contorting their bodies into impossible positions all while holding a cup of tea … with their toes. The visually stunning work is anchored in each film by set designs inspired by the ingredients and packaging of the Eugene, Ore. brand’s range of teas.
The goal of the ads is less about selling tea and more about the importance of wellness, which drove the thinking behind the brand’s tagline: Be Your Own Yogi.
“There’s so much in the world saying ‘we can fix you’ or ‘this is what you need,’” said Opinionated creative director Rob Palmer. “I think it’s pretty refreshing for this brand to be all about self-empowerment and letting people know that it’s within them. There’s humble confidence in that kind of positioning.”
Perhaps surprisingly, the idea behind the positioning was in clear sight from the onset and borne from initial thought-starters for the brand in the pitch process (Opinionated won the business in April). The vivid clarity in the tagline helped build a creative foundation—and it also helped that most of the team involved were target consumers who have more balanced lifestyles, yoga and tea included.
“We have a strong millennial and female team,” noted Palmer. “We cut them loose and had them explore these creative pathways to make sure that the tone and voice were right.”
Palmer added that “everyone working on this creative was very much involved with yoga,” including copywriter Emma Siolka and art director Vicky Mo.
“It was important to us that the agency understand our commitment to authenticity and stay true to our Yogi roots,” added Giancarlo Marcaccini, CEO of Yogi, a certified B Corporation that was founded over 30 years ago and sells 50 varieties of tea.
Finding actors to execute the difficult moves proved to be a rewarding challenge. In the end, the agency cast a wide net and was able to find yogis with strong performance backgrounds. The actor in the Stress Relief tea ad, for example, was a China’s Got Talent winner and Cirque du Soleil performer. The yogi in the multiple product ad was a rhythmic gymnast.
But standard yoga moves, like a downward dog or star pose, weren’t in the cards for this campaign. To make an impact, the brand and agency needed to find something more compelling to create the “did you just see that?” moments in the ads.
“We learned about the styles of yoga that are most interesting to watch,” notes Palmer. “It became more interesting and unbelievable working to find that edge of ‘wow, is that physically possible?’ and coming up with routines that could resolve itself within 30 seconds.”
The video ads will run on streaming video and digital platforms with a print campaign set to be placed in several magazines.
Advertising Agency: Opinionated
Creative Director: Mark Fitzloff, Rob Palmer
Art Director: Vicky Mo
Copywriter: Emma Siolka
Strategy: Dave Daines
Account: Trish Adams, Michael Dalton, Analysa Cantu
Producer: Mia Chong-Hanssen
Production Company: The Pull
Director: Danielle Levitt
DP: Zach Sky
Editorial Company: Piñata
Editor: Matt Hilber
Sound Company: Digital One
Sound Designer: Chip Sloan
Producer: Stephanie Porto