Every so often you come across a marketing idea that stops you in your tracks and makes you equal parts impressed, entertained and envious. The organic tea company Honest Tea owned that idea this week.
The company’s recently announced National Honesty Index is a robust and well-executed campaign, one with a variety of angles. Setting up unmanned pop-up stores in 30 cities around the country, Honest Tea asked everyday pedestrians to pay a buck per bottle of their product entirely on the honor system.
The campaign’s core idea isn’t revolutionary. One could say gas stations have pioneered the social experiment over the years with their ‘take a penny, leave a penny’ trays. What Honest Tea did was approach it with savvy public relations, big data and interactive perspectives to create something equally as magnetic to consumers as it is to media.
In a little less than five days the National Honesty Index has earned a mass of placements in both local and national media to go with a tremendous amount of social chatter. Aside from a few grumpy observers, the campaign has been well-received as a lighthearted, quasi-scientific study, one obviously not meant for peer review in a scientific journal.
And while I’m most impressed with its ability to attract media coverage in the 30 test cities and beyond, the campaign was no doubt an integrated effort with a host of marketing disciplines contributing to its success.
Ultimately, a brand’s purpose and ideals will direct its creative process. When a brand stakes its reputation (and name) on a virtue as widely-esteemed as honesty, you have a unique ability to create something fun that resonates with folks.