THE YORKSHIRE TREE – WILL IT GROW?

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Who doesn’t love a good cuppa?  I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a slight addict when it comes to tea, and I must confess that I’m a bit of a tea snob.  It has to be Yorkshire Tea.

So, when I read about the licensing deal that Yorkshire Tea has signed with the Gruffalo for a new campaign, I was excited.  This is the first time an FMCG brand has partnered with the Gruffalo commercially and it’s all part of Yorkshire Tea’s five-year pledge to plant one million trees – 500,000 in the UK and 500,000 in Kenya.

Cleverly dubbed The Yorkshire Tree, the campaign is a prime example of a partnership with values at its forefront.  Yorkshire Tea has a long history of striving to reduce its carbon footprint and minimise the impact tea-growing has on the environment, with extensive tree planting just one of its efforts.  The Gruffalo is a modern classic telling of a monster’s walk through the woods and, with its main character recognised globally, Yorkshire Tea has certainly chosen the right brand to team up with.  Magic Light Pictures, which holds the Gruffalo license, has revealed that its core values are education, literacy and the power of storytelling – all of which are essential if Yorkshire Tea wants to convey its message and run its campaign successfully.

The Yorkshire Tree campaign launched last Friday and has wasted no time getting down to business.  This week, in partnership with The Woodland Trust, 100,000 trees are being planted across the UK, with ten schools receiving a special visit from the Gruffalo to help the children plant their own trees. You only have to look on Twitter to see the fun being had planting trees with help from a life-sized Gruffalo.

Also being launched is a Gruffalo themed microsite, an interactive game, activity books on tree planting and an interactive map logging the tree-planting progress.  It’s all inventively put together to target children and is obviously the start of what has the potential to be a highly effective, long-running integrated marketing campaign that will hopefully engage and educate the next generation in the issues of sustainability and conservation.

By using the Gruffalo as the face of this new campaign, Yorkshire Tea is opening doors to speak to a vast swathe of consumers about its brand and values.  Limited edition tea packs are being launched and, while children are drawn to the Gruffalo and The Yorkshire Tree, their parents will be introduced to the world of Yorkshire Tea.  And, in my book, once you’ve tried it you can’t go back to your regular tea.  Only time will tell how it progresses, but I for one am excited to see how The Yorkshire Tree grows.