Bethesda, Md.-based Honest Tea, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Co., began rolling out its first integrated advertising campaign with the new tagline “Refreshingly Honest.” The ads highlight the true taste of Honest Tea beverages by emphasizing the company’s use of real, organic ingredients with a quirky playfulness that stays true to the brand, the company says.  This is Honest Tea’s first foray into TV commercials. The company also will extend the campaign to digital video, social media, out-of-home billboards and transit signage, as well as grassroots events around the country. 

 “Refreshingly Honest has multiple meanings for us,” said Honest Tea’s Co-founder, President and TeaEO Seth Goldman, in a statement. “It reflects not only the delicious, lightly sweetened taste of our drinks and the use of real, organic ingredients, but also the honest and transparent nature in which we strive to conduct our business.”

 The multi-platform advertising campaign for Honest Tea is designed to expand the base of consumers who enjoy Honest Tea and Honest Ade, the company says. 

“We are committed to bringing organics to more people, and now that we have increased our distribution, we need to make people aware of our products,” Goldman said.  As a result of Honest Tea’s acquisition by the Coca-Cola Company in 2011, distribution has expanded from 15,000 accounts in 2008 ― when Coke first invested in the brand ― to more than 100,000 accounts in 2012. 

Scheduled to begin July 16, the ad depicts animated fake fruit and tea leaves trying to gain access to a bottle of Honest Tea Half & Half organic tea with lemonade, but ultimately leaving frustrated when they are supplanted by real, organic ingredients. 

“We hope the spots will provoke consumers to think about what goes into the beverages they are consuming,” Honest Tea’s Vice President of Marketing Peter Kaye said in a statement.

 To spread the “Refreshingly Honest” attributes of all Honest Tea branded products ― Honest Tea, Honest Ade and Honest Kids ― the company will use a variety of approaches beyond media this year, including nearly 3,000 grassroots events and in-store demonstrations, the company says. Brand ambassadors will represent Honest Tea through sampling opportunities and interactive events at concerts, festivals and retail locations.

 “There is no better way to convince someone to try Honest Tea than by engaging with them directly, person to person,” Kaye said. “Our teams are passionate about the brand, and that’s why the continued regional events are the foundation of our ‘Refreshingly Honest’ campaign.”