1. ·

    A fascinating article, though scandalously tea-baggy in parts for me.
    It’s always good to get an insight into other cultures.
    I doubt we’ve ever had an ad that says “Drink tea” in Australia. We’ve had plenty that say “Drink THIS tea”.

  2. ·

    What I always found fascinating about the old 50s (and before) ads were how verbose they were in comparison to today’s copy. As if the attention span of the country got shorter…and shorter…and they had to compensate. Very fascinating article, dear. I’m loving the interviews and travel experiences.

  3. ·

    So 50s…
    Thanks for the post.

    And @lazyliteratus, I don’t think we have less attention span, it is just that they understood too much verbiage isn’t that efficient.

    1. ·

      “A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures.”
      Ben Shneiderman, 2003
      Just another reason to meet for tea!

  4. ·

    I like this post very much because the Tea Council is something that has been on my radar for a while now. The latter part of your article highlights the disappointment I have with their operations. I don’t think the Tea Council is a bad organization, I just think that they aren’t doing enough given their position in the industry.

    Mr Simanry and the Council are credited with the health revolution that occurred with tea, and what they’ve done was marvelous. While I don’t agree with the health standpoint, they brought tea into people’s minds in a resurgent way, during an era of hightened interest in health and it worked. What the Council has failed to do is adjust to current times. They’ve not accommodated the online world at all and this is part of what I find the most troubling:

    The council focus has changed and they are allocating their budgets to tea research, to establish confirming facts about the health benefits of tea and not much in terms of consumer or trade advertisement.

    As the industry’s support and lobby group, they have an ethical and moral obligation to spend their money promoting tea to increase sales. Everything else they do should be on the periphery. The health focus was 10-15 years ago, but tea has (rightfully so) evolved from that standpoint to something else and the Council should address that and accept that consumer’s perception of the product is not in line with the perceptions of the Council.

    Case in point: just yesterday @jackie and I were in a nice cafe in a nearby college town. While we waited for our hot pot of fresh tea, a young, beautiful girl ahead of us was patiently waiting for her large vanilla chai latte. She’s not going to stay slim forever drinking too many of those, but that’s my point. Tea is ready for a marketing push from the Council that is modern, relevant and reduces the push on health. Tea is a good drink and letting it be one in the mind of consumers without chatter about cancer, heart disease, and longevity is what is needed!

    A modern, well-designed marketing campaign right now for the next 12-18 months by the Council would have a significant and long-lasting impact on the tea industry that would be felt for years. America is primed and ready for this kind of thing.


    1. ·

      I mentioned some ideas to Mr. Simanry.
      One being taking advantage of the host of media stars who are “embracing the leaf” like Gaga and others.
      The afternoon tea is repeatedly shown on Reality TV and other venues.
      I understand the concept of individual company branding and its value, although taking advantage of the current trend, I agree a “push for the leaf” would have a huge impact on the younger market and set the motion for the future.
      I think more could be done to allocate a portion of the budgets to generic consumer awareness.
      Here’s a tag line “Have you had your tea today?” maybe we should start the trend on twitter 🙂
      Vanilla chai lattes are not the answer.

  5. ·

    @jopj your posts are inspiring, always. Many conversations are fueled by your thoughts, not just in our household. How wonderful you had the opportunity to talk with the president of the tea council. How do you have such contacts? You made an appointment but I’m sure he doesn’t just see anyone who picks up the phone? Maybe he’s enjoyed one of your tea parties, which I’m sure you’re equally wonderful at arranging : ) Either way, it’s marvelous you went ahead and booked a meeting. Guess I have to thank @xavier aka teaconomics too, for his request. For those of you curious, Jo’s business is right here: http://www.agiftoftea.com/

    @peter you should post this, well not exactly this, but this subject in the forum too. Let’s discuss the role of the “Tea Council USA.”

    Oh, and I do agree with @lazyliteratus, that today’s advertising reflects our shorter attention spans. That would be another very interesting topic to discuss.
    You all have to stop talking because you are inspiring me too much 😉

  6. ·

    Vanilla chai lattes are not the answer.

    Absolutely! But people are drinking them and they are made from tea!

    I read a sentence recently in an Indian online newspaper that really struck me, and is something we, as an industry, need to use as guidance:

    Tea doesn’t care how its sold.

    Just that one sentence has altered the way I think about selling tea, but as I do my own research into building a tea retail model, I find that it also supports the idea that we need to expand our ideas of what the industry is currently capable of and doing.

  7. ·

    “Tea doesn’t care how it’s sold” – Well, it might if someone doesn’t buy it because it’s not marketed right. By right I mean, inadequately introduced to the “masses.”

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