The Indian SocieTEA

The Indian SocieTEA

Chai is more than just a cup of tea to start the day, I believe we will all agree to it. It is a rhythm of life to most Indians; the hot brown...

Chai is more than just a cup of tea to start the day, I believe we will all agree to it. It is a rhythm of life to most Indians; the hot brown beverage is an integral part of life that soars beyond the borders, from roadside stalls to Irani cafes. Documenting the diverse Indian culture behind the making and consumption of this hot beverage, tea brand Society Tea’s latest advert captures tea across states and ethnicities of the country.

Titled ‘The Tea Society Called India’, the campaign Big Idea is clearly derived from the brand name itself. The ad says so many unsaid things about India as a culturally rich country while staying away from creating another national integration campaign. The three-minute film gets you from the first few seconds and grips you with the diversified essence of tea pan India. The film is sans any voice or super and hence leaves enough room for interpretation.

Relating to insights and nuances, the film emotionally touches viewers, while effectively standing by the legacy of the brand and staying true to the loyalty it has garnered over the years. The film is a visual treat, a mosaic of candid and well-directed shots from Mumbai, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Kashmir (this bit is our favourite), Goa, Kerala, Jaipur and New Delhi, to name a few.

We can only imagine how difficult and tedious would the shooting of all the beautiful scenes in the montage be. Convincing people in between their everyday chores and requesting them to face the camera is not everyone’s cup of tea. Just imagining how many cups of teas went into bringing the perfect flavour to the film.

Pegging on the national obsession and competing against brands like Tata Tea, who have had hard-hitting campaigns, is not easy. Nor is it a cakewalk to surpass with heartwarming campaigns by Brooke Bond. The question is whether Society Tea really made it? Was this advert the right communication to set out at this point in time?

It is difficult to have a say here majorly because the brand has not been actively advertising and still has decided to have such subtle branding and communication. While the abstract narrative appeals to us as communicators and leaves room for personal interpretation, how effective will the campaign be in terms of brand recall?

That does not translate to the film being ineffective. Perhaps, Society Tea can look at creating an extension of the campaign with the same Big Idea. A social media activation of the existing film would make for a robust brand-defining campaign. It would not just increase brand (and the film) recall, but also create an owned audience which could eventually lead to positive brand advocacy.

By: Tushar Kalawatia

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