In a surprising turn of events, one of the most British brands imaginable awarded its advertising account to a Spanish agency a few weeks ago. PG Tips, the UK’s number-one tea brand, is now in the creative hands of LOLA MullenLowe’s Madrid office. What makes the news even more amazing is that they won the pitch against two top British agencies - adam&eveDDB and Ogilvy. The account had been with Mother London since 2006.
As an office that rarely goes half an hour without gasps for a brew, the team at LBB were eager to know what this means for the well-loved brand moving forward.
LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with Tom Elliston, Global Business Director at LOLA, for a glimpse of what might be coming.
LBB> How are you feeling about winning the PG Tips account?
TE> Hard to put into words. It’s a brand that evokes so many fond memories of iconic advertising loved by the nation over the years. To be part of that makes us extremely proud. And also very humble for what’s coming now that we enter the UK market with a British brand and not a global one.
LBB> It's a very UK brand. How do you hope to approach it creatively as a Spanish agency?
TE> Well, first of all, we are an agency who understand emotions and how to connect with people’s hearts. And tea and PG Tips have a special emotional place in the hearts of the nation. Secondly, LOLA is an agency with many different nationalities (almost 20 among 70 people) including having a through-and-through Brit as part of the management team who will be leading the business.
LBB> It's also got a long and really well-known heritage in marketing. The Tips family, the T-Birds, Monkey! How do you feel about those campaigns?
TE> Up there with the most famous in UK advertising history. They evoked a sense of warmth towards the brand. I have memories of watching TV as a kid and my gran used to laugh out loud whenever the PG tips ads with the chimps came on.
LBB> Do you plan to continue some of that heritage or is this a new start for the brand?
TE> You’ll have to wait and see.
LBB> Is tea popular in Spain? Spain must be more of a coffee drinking nation. Will it be a challenge for the team to get into the tea-drinking mindset?
TE> Tea is becoming more and more popular in Spain right now. And as I said, we have 20 different nationalities in the agency, so PG Tips is already our number one beverage in LOLA.
LBB> Is there anything else that you find interesting about the brand or anything that we should watch out for?
TE> It’s the number-one tea brand in the UK. And we know what tea means to us Brits. It’s with people all the time. It’s part of their lives and their daily routine. What an amazing opportunity to create brand love throughout the nation.