Honestly? Honest Tea’s Experiment in Social Marketing

How better to test the ethical standards of a city than to set up an unmanned pop-up shop with bottles of tea at the ready and a secured cash box?

Set them up in 12 cities, then hook up the secret cameras (with UstreamYouTube footage available as well!) and watch the fun. Add a flashy website (honestcities.com), and you’ve got a fairly comprehensive, “social” tea marketing campaign!

Check out this article on the stunt, where the event is pitched as a study in honesty rather than a multi-layered guerrilla marketing campaign (well done, HT) and the honestcities site as well, which features a survey link & tie into facebook

Honest Tea Facebook Welcome Shot
for a like=coupon offer. One downside – you have to download a coupon-printing application to get the coupon. Not too smooth.

The ultimate goal seems to be the popular quest for more Facebook “likes”. So far, I see 67,564 fans and 310 views on YouTube. Will have to check in a week or so to see how they fair. Also will be interesting to see what they do with their fan base after the coupons are gone.

It’s a fun campaign, and well thought out. I’ll admit I like it. I like probably it more than I should. Will really like it if fans aren’t left high and dry when the party’s over.

Hey! Why didn’t the honesty tour make it to Baltimore???

Why the hell am I drinking a cafe au lait???

The time is 4:00, and the nanny is watching my daughter until 5:30.
There is no way I’ll be able to do anything without her attached to me as soon as I walk through the door, so I’ve opted to spend the rest of my time in a local cafe – a drop of the illusive, oft promoted, often over-rated “me time”.

You know what I’m itching for right now? A cup of Pi Lo Chun. Something green, light and soothing. A gentle mouth-feel that rolls onto your tongue like a warm, lightweight blob of spring-inspired goodness.

Something that I would never in a million years dream of ordering in a place like this.

How would this be solved?

1. Show me that the tea in those tired aluminum tins behind the counter was sourced within the past month.
2. Fill my cup about 1/4 of the way with cold, cold water
3. Add the rest of the water from that horrible tap attached to your coffee maker, but no need to fill it to the top. You’ll need the space for the teabag you’ll be adding…
4. The teabag will be filled with at least a tablespoon of tea (since Pi Lo Chun is voluminous), and will be pushed into the water almost completely with the swizzle stick you’ve already used to stir the water in the cup, cooling down the coffee maker water that would otherwise destroy those precious leaves.
5. Most of the bag will be submerged, so the leaves have room to expand.
6. Finally, please let me know when you put the bag in the water! I don’t want to play the “how long has that bag been in there” guessing game.

So yeah, you think I’m going to make these kind of requests?
Especially when the guy behind the counter has already been asked to give this level of concentration to the beans he’s brewing for everyone else.
Oh hell’s no. Not if I don’t want spit in my drink.

So it’s another cafe au lait for me. Bah.

Tea? There’s an app for that.

Dude. An iPhone app for tea. Amazing.


It’s super well thought out, and I love the ability to take notes as well as the timer. But please forgive when I say that I tend not to track my cups the way I tracked my daughter’s feeding/sleeping/pooping schedule when she was fresh out. I can understand a tea inventory in a shop, but to have my tea shelf’s contents on my iPhone, updated at all times, just in case? Maybe I’m not type-a enough on that one.

The app also gives you the ability to automatically post your thoughts on whatever you’re drinking to your social network of choice. But I think my friends are grateful that I don’t have the ability to tweet about every cup I drink. Just saying…

btw: 10% off Adagio coupon featured on the site.

If I had an iPhone, would I try Tea, the app? Oh hecks yeah. It’s beautiful to look out, and has a feature for every level of your own personal tea-tracking insanity. Would love to hear with people out there think of it.