Honest Tea Dips Its Toe Into TV

How does a challenger brand embrace mass media without losing touch with its grass roots?

That’s a key challenge facing Honest Tea, as the beverage launches its first TV ad today. The animated ad, from New York shop Amalgamated, features a bespectacled lemon and plastic tea leaves trying but failing to pierce a bottle of Honest Tea.

“We don’t let just anything get into a bottle of Honest Tea,” a male voice explains as the leaves and lemon are repeatedly stymied. “We brew real organic tea leaves add real organic ingredients, and it’s just a tad sweet. Because if it’s not real, it’s not honest.”

The new ad, which will run in four markets, is part of a broader effort that includes billboards, transit posters, online ads and events. The campaign—the largest in the brand’s 14-year history—introduces a new tagline: “Refreshingly honest.”

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