As part of a strategy to become more accessible and reach a broader audience Honest Tea in May will launch a yearlong 10-city guerrilla sampling tour. In addition a partnership with Jamis bikes will allow the brand to give away 1 000 bikes in random drawings as part of a retail and online sweepstakes that supports the effort. Originally sold only in health food and specialty retailers the bottled organic beverage brand is opening distribution to mainstream supermarkets and Sam’s Clubs. Coca-Cola purchased a 40 percent interest in the company earlier this year.
“We’re a guerrilla-focused company ” Jesse Merrill director of marketing told Buzz. “The most important thing for us to do is to hydrate consumers. The best way to do that is through sampling. We don’t do traditional advertising.”
The brand has activated similar tours in the past that took place in the summer with interns driving Ford Escapes as sample vehicles. This year full-time marketing managers equipped with branded hybrid SUVs will handle each market with interns and additional hourly samplers in branded apparel who will distribute full bottles and cups of the brew along with coupons.
Honest Tea’s teams will travel to Arizona Boston Chicago Los Angeles New Jersey New York City San Diego San Francisco Seattle and Washington DC making stops at Sunday home games at Washington Nationals games health fairs concerts mountain biking events marathons and stops on the John Mayer tour. Photos of guests will be posted on a gallery on the brand’s website honesttea.com and on its MySpace and Facebook pages. Everything is handled internally.