In its new ad campaign, Tetley celebrates being there for every kind of tea drinker there is. From English Breakfast to herbal, biscuit dunkers to those smuggling teabags on holiday, Tetley spreads its slogan, ‘For the love of tea, for the love of Tetley’.
The campaign begins with an array of office tea orders with different cuppa combinations and even finds its way backstage, with a dunk and a sip. In keeping with the inclusive slogan, Academy’s director Jack Discroll made sure not to over-direct on set, instead opting to capture moments that were as natural as they could be. The result is a hand and heart warming ad that will keep you toasty this winter.
Dipesh Mistry and Drew Haselhurst, associate creative directors at Neverland, speak to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about the 360-degree campaign and the ‘outrageous’ banter between a grandma and her grandson on set.
LBB> Tell us about the early days of the campaign...what was the brief and how did you interpret it?
Drew> Everyone knows Tetley. It’s an iconic British brand that is in most of our cupboards, and in pretty much every shop across the country, so awareness was not the problem! There is a lot of confection and faff in adverts for tea, all of which we felt were getting in the way of what really matters to consumers – the simple pleasure of a banging cuppa. So that was the task we set ourselves. Put tea, and the love of it, back at the heart of Tetley.
LBB> The British public is unique in their tea-drinking culture and you capture quite a few different tea drinkers in the nation. How did you go about choosing the specific niches to include?
Dip> Tea is everywhere and is for everyone. When you start looking closer at the way people behave when making and drinking tea, you begin to notice the beautiful oddities, and it’s all those tea quirks that ladder back down to Tetley and their entire range.
I didn’t realise, but for years I’ve been making a brew and then using my fingers to pick out the teabag – ‘The Pinchers’ were born. Still not exactly sure why I’ve never just used a spoon, perhaps it’s an unconscious link to my mum who uses her fingers when flipping hot chapatis on the stove.
The deeper we went, the more quirks appeared – who knew people used the same teabag twice?! We collected together this wonderful range of habits and got to our collection of different tea lovers.
LBB> With all the different scenes taken into consideration, how long did the entire campaign take to film from start to finish?
Drew> We pitched and won the account back in March and have been working with the Tetley team on their brand and this campaign since then. We filmed the ad in late summer and then launched this week. It’s been a fantastic team effort from the agency, client, and production houses. Well-deserved chamomile teas all around.
LBB> Being a 360 marketing campaign, how did you ensure that this ad gave the same overarching message as all of the other marketing mediums?
Dip> Everything we do at Neverland is about finding a ‘North Star’ that we can direct all the work that we and brands do towards.
‘For the love of tea, for the love of Tetley’ is such a simple, yet inclusive platform, and means that everything created pulls in the same direction.
LBB> Tell us about the filmmaking side of things. You capture different moments in time from a rainy football pitch to a sunny hotel room, yet everything blends together as one cohesive piece. Can you tell us about the specifics that helped you achieve this?
Drew> Behind every idea is a director and his team. Jack Discroll from Academy took our idea and flew with it, making it his own. Jack’s approach was always about not over directing a moment, but to let our tea lovers naturally interact and play out their own tea habits. It’s how everything feels natural and effortlessly authentic.
Jack also shot the film on 35mm, which gave us that rich cinematic quality of colours and textures. Ben Todd, our DOP was all over this from the start to the very end when grading with our friends over at ETC. It’s a thing of beauty.
LBB> That initial scene of mugs scattered on a table is striking and also shows the ‘tea for every tea lover’ aspect that Tetley is trying to achieve. It must have taken a while to get it just right, so can you talk us through how you achieved that specific shot?
Dip> We wanted to show diversity, or should we say ‘diversitea’ in a way that only Tetley could.
Tetley’s entire range is featured in the opening shot, and for us, this nailed ’tea for every tea lover’ without showing people. It was important to pre-plan this shot, making sure we covered the full tea spectrum, meticulously pouring in different amounts of milk, and then tweaking with the power of grade. The herbal teas were a little easier, pour water in and watch the colours infuse naturally.
LBB> Tetley has so many different teas, from classic English Breakfast all the way to unique cold brews. Do you have a favourite kind of tea and if so, which is it?
Dip> I call it The Indian Builder. It’s like a builder's tea, but keep the bag in to brew until it reaches the same colour of my skin, Pantone 18-0940 TCX ‘golden brown’.
LBB> We love hearing about behind the scenes moments, were there any funny stories or surprising ongoings during filming that you can tell us about?
Drew> We all fell in love with the Gran and her real grandson. The banter was outrageous. When the Gran says “it’s about time” and the grandson replies “you cheeky thing, you’ve probably had three already” it was unscripted and we loved it.
The ‘flaskers’ scene shouldn’t have been an issue. It had been cloudy and rained all week. But that one day the clouds decided to depart and make way for some beautiful sunshine! Classic. Collectively, we improvised and managed to get the great shot you now see in the ad.
LBB> What can we expect to see next from the Tetley campaign?
Dip> ‘For the love Tea, for the love of Tetley’, is such a rich platform, there are so many more types of tea lovers and tea habits to unearth and hero, we can’t say too much, but exciting things to come.
LBB> Is there anything else you’d like to let us know about?
Dip> We’d love to know what’s the LBB team’s quirkiest tea habit? Who knows, you could make it into our next ad!