PG tips wished to increase penetration of their black tea varieties by targeting their audience's morning routine. The advertising idea (‘Whatever side of the bed you wake up on, we’ve got a blend for you’) associated different moods with different teas.
To land this idea, we needed to find a way to become part of, and add value to, our audience’s conversations as they communicated their morning mood on-the-go. We needed a solution that allowed the brand to get involved on social media but also, importantly, in the private messages that are the staple of our audience’s mobile communication.
To interrupt our audience's routines (and achieve the breadth of moods required) we turned to the internet’s primary tool for expression - GIFs. PG tips’ beloved spokesperson, Monkey was perfectly suited to this micro-medium, so we put him to work in a series of amusing animations that dramatised various moods.
Our strategy was to join the conversation and talk about moods through the emotional currency of funny GIFs. To do this, we put Monkey to work to create a seemingly endless set of shareable GIF assets – Sad Monkey, Zen Monkey, Sassy Monkey, Sleepy Monkey etc. – which drove people back to a clear product message. We chose not to assign specific sentiments for specific days, but rather to create a suite of emotions the audience could use to represent how they were feeling that day.
It was important to understand where people go to find and use GIFs on Twitter to be authentic. The answer? Partner with Giphy, which powers not only the Twitter, but also the Messenger, Whatsapp and iMessage GIF menus.
By keeping the content authentic and branding subtle, the GIFs were trended by Giphy, making sure our knitted ambassador appeared first when anyone searched for keywords like Happy, Sad, Sassy, or Sleepy.
Once we’d let our Monkey GIFs out into the world, we also wanted to use them to speak to people in our distinct PG tips tone of voice. Each morning we had a team of writers trawling Twitter and giving real-time, super-responsive replies to people reacting to how they were feeling using our GIFs wherever possible. On top of organic conversations, paid Twitter posts aimed to drive brand engagement with new audiences, with delivery being timed to coincide with mornings.
Who needs a Trojan horse when you’ve got a Monkey?
By keeping everything we did authentic, timely and humorous, we saw an unprecedented amount of interaction with our campaign.
- 25 million organic views on Giphy (in just 6 weeks)
- 237 million organic views since the campaign ended
- GIFs appeared on the top trending Giphy categories: ‘Excited’, ‘Zen’ and ‘No’.
Fans and celebrities were quick to embrace our content, with names such as Rudimental, Edith Bowman, Lauren Pope, Sarah Millican, and even the anchors of Good Morning Britain, to name but a few, all authentically engaging with the campaign.
The campaign is industry recognised, picking up multiple awards including LOVIES Best Viral Advertising, The Drum Content Awards The Chair’s Award, and The Drum Most Innovative and Best FMCG/Consumer Products Campaign Award.
The Drum Judge, Lisa Gilbert, chief marketing officer, IBM UK and Ireland explained, "this campaign is proof that you don't need mammoth sized budgets to create a powerful campaign. A beautifully simple idea that took off and captured the hearts of its audience.”
It was also identified as Campaign's magazine top 10 customer engagement in 2017.
This meant that, for a modest budget of £50k, we didn’t just join the morning conversation, but totally owned it.