TAZO doesn’t just want its products to be organic; the tea brand is also investing in TikTok to help bring an organic feel to its messaging and media plan.
Over the summer, TAZO chose TikTok as the launchpad for its new “regenerative” tea line because TikTok has become home base for young influencers and activists.
“We’re looking to reach new audiences by working with ‘eco-creators’ to amplify our messaging,” said Jami Lewchik, head of TAZO and portfolio sustainability for Ekaterra’s US business.
Ekaterra is a portfolio of tea brands, including TAZO, Lipton, Lyons and PG Tips, currently owned by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. CVC bought Ekaterra from Unilever over the summer.
TAZO’s strategy under new ownership is to rebuild its brand on social media and its approach to media in general with a focus on sustainability, including a transition into product supply lines that are entirely regenerative by 2029, to help promote biodiversity.
Regenerative products are made from renewable materials like self-sustaining seedlings and compostable packaging.
Tell it to TikTok
The ingredients in TAZO’s regenerative tea lines are Rainforest Alliance Certified, and its new TikTok campaign is part of a larger $1.4 million commitment the company made this year to the 1% for the Planet initiative.
To spread the word about these efforts, TAZO opted to work with influencers and environmental activists, including Leah Thomas (you can call her “Green Girl Leah”) rather than do paid promotion. In other words, the campaign is also organic, as in, unpaid.
To drive the point home, TAZO produced what it refers to as a “regenerative ad” by using natural light on set, native grasses and flowers as props and serving the film crew with organic chili cooked by the director. (Go big or go home – with leftovers.)
TAZO pledged to donate one dollar per view of its ad to the Rodale Institute, an organic agriculture research group, with an end goal of $250,000.
Partnerships with activists and creators make sense for this campaign because they’re the “experts in the field with audiences that listen to and respect them,” Lewchik said.
TikTok makes sense because TAZO especially wants to reach young people.
TAZO drinkers are typically younger than the consumers of Ekaterra’s other tea brands, which makes them more likely to be students with environmental concerns or even activists themselves, Lewchik said.
In addition to TikTok, TAZO is also partnering with environmentalist Pattie Gonia to cross-promote its message on other social media platforms, including Instagram and LinkedIn.
TAZO’s main KPI for its regenerative campaign is views, because it’s donating money per view, which is also why TAZO is prioritizing reaching new audiences. According to Lewchik, TAZO is close to reaching its goal of 250,000 views for a total of $250,000.
But TAZO is also tracking sales and conversions.
Even brands with wholesome goals are looking to generate sales.
“Now we’re at a point where we’re shifting our focus from driving views to a campaign that’s further down the funnel,” said Lewchik, who noted the next phase of TAZO’s campaign will include a retargeting component to promote specific products.
Not much ado about TV
But TAZO isn’t running any TV for this campaign, mainly because TV is expensive.
“We chose to prioritize giving a $250,000 donation to the Rodale Institute versus paying for the space to run that media,” Lewchik said. “We want to build a community around our brand, so we’ve deliberately put our time and investment behind building one-to-one connections with our audience.”
And a brand-messaging overhaul rooted in a rallying cry around sustainability isn’t something you can do meaningfully in a six-second paid ad, Lewchik said.