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Case Study: How Lipton and Media Prima re-energised the beloved tea brand

Lipton is known to be a local consumer favourite tea brand. The brand embarked on a comprehensive study to understand the behavioural patterns and preferences of the average Malaysian tea drinkers to improve its own products.

Through the study, Lipton discovered that Malaysians in general have a great preference for tea with a stronger taste. This is more essential for Malaysians who prefer making the local “teh tarik” (pulled tea) which combines a strong dose of tea with condensed milk and sugar.

This post was done in conjunction with MediaPrima.

Objectives

To address these challenges and raise its own stakes within Malaysia’s tea industry, Lipton focused on an innovative brand strategy that covered both its product and sales as well as its brand positioning and overall communications.

This resulted in:

  • The creation of the new Lipton Ekstra Kaw (Ekstra Kaw) product range aimed at appealing to Malaysia’s tea drinkers’ preference for stronger tea.
  • The introduction of the “Hanya Kaw Untukku” (Only You for Me) campaign. Hanya Kaw Untukku was designed to raise awareness, encourage trials and ensure the purchase of the new Ekstra Kaw range.

Lipton partnered with Media Prima Television Networks (MPTN) to launch the Hanya Kaw Untukku campaign that aimed to re-energise the Lipton brand; and drive awareness, trial and subsequent purchase of the new Ekstra Kaw range among the mass Malay households, which represents more than 65% of the total Malaysian population.

Strategy

Through research, Lipton discovered that Malay female homemakers between the ages of 25-45 are the biggest purchasers of tea. Delving deeper into this audience’s psychographic, Lipton also discovered the following:

  • Family always comes first for the homemaker.
  • She makes the purchase decisions for all household essentials, including tea.
  • She takes great pride in making the perfect cup or pot of tea for her husband and family.

Based on the above, Lipton created its new Lipton Ekstra Kaw (Ekstra Kaw) range aimed at appealing to Malaysia’s tea drinkers’ preference for stronger, darker coloured tea. While this addressed consumer needs from a business perspective, the next challenge that Lipton faced was to drive awareness and trial of the Ekstra Kaw range.

The campaign, which was crafted based on a clever play on the word “kaw”, a local slang to describe the thickness of hot drinks, with its homonym counterpart “kau” (you), was meant to garner attention and resonate with the Malay audience.

Execution

MPTN developed a strategic integrated campaign for Lipton, featuring the following two-step strategy:

1. Launch and awareness

The campaign’s launch and establishment of initial awareness of the Ekstra Kaw range through the sponsorship of the drama Menanti Februari helped drive the proposition that the richness of Ekstra Kaw can strengthen husband and wife relationships. This is akin to that of the lead couple in the show.

Traditional advertisements of the range could also be seen across MPTN’s print, social, digital and broadcasting platforms. Branded capsules featuring the lead of the drama Menanti Februari – Zul Ariffin – incorporated the drama’s story and dialled up Ekstra Kaw’s role as a strong tea.

The media event announced the partnership between Lipton and MPTN followed by an interactive tea-time chat with Menanti Februari’s stars. A massive onground sampling was also done where more than 1.5 million cups of tarik was shared with consumers.

For better engagement between the audience and Lipton, a social media contest ran across MPTN social media channels, where participants were asked to share their most creative “Hanya Kaw Untukku Moments”. Fifty winners were chosen, including two grand prize winners who received the new iPhone 7.

2. Amplification and conversion

In addition to the continuation of the branded content capsules featuring celebrities of the drama Menanti Februari, along with placements across MPTN’s media platforms, the campaign extended its reach during the month of Ramadan by encouraging Malay-Muslims to break their fast with sweet Ekstra Kaw tea.

Lipton’s van roved across the top mosques nationwide and gave out free Ekstra Kaw tea to complement food served in mosques during the breaking of the fast ritual.

Results

The cumulative success of the Hanya Kaw Untukku campaign was seen through the following:

  • 4.5 times increase in media value ROI garnered from the drama sponsorship.
  • Additionally, the media launch garnered more than 42 news clips across print, broadcast and digital media, recording more than RM1.2 million in PR value.
  • The campaign resulted in strong business results for the Ekstra Kaw range, with a growth of 12% within the segment.

Most importantly, despite running for only three months, the Hanya Kaw Untukku launch was the defining campaign that truly moved the needle for Lipton. The campaign achieved great results in Advertising + Marketing’s Marketing Excellence Awards, with gold in Excellence for Brand Strategy and two bronze for the categories Excellence in Media Strategy and Excellence in Sponsorship Activation last November.

Despite being one of the top tea brands in Malaysia, Lipton wasn’t prepared to rest on its laurels and do the same things that have worked in its favour over and over. Instead, working with MPTN, it embarked on a comprehensive consumer study to identify market opportunities and came up with a strategic business and communications plan to address it.

This resulted in re-energising the Lipton brand through a new and exciting product that not only appeals to Malaysian taste preferences, but also a creative launch marketing programme that resonated strongly with its specific target audience.