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The Muppets Sign on as Lipton Pitch-Puppets

By Beth Nichols – Feb 27, 2014 at 8:06AM

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The Muppets will help Lipton formally unveil its new "Be More Tea" campaign at the March 2 Oscars, helping position tea as relief for a "stressed out world."

Are you ready to "Be More Tea"?

With what it hopes will be Super Bowl-style fanfare, the Muppets will help Unilever (UN) formally launch its "Be More Tea" Lipton campaign at the March 2 Oscars, featuring perennial favorite feel-good guy, Kermit. The campaign will feature a range of Lipton's products, including the premade, flavored varieties distributed by PepsiCo (PEP -1.22%).

 "Be More Tea" positions tea as the go-to beverage for relief from a stressed-out world. The Muppets (who will release their next movie, "Muppets Most Wanted" on March 21) are led by the puppet crew's traditional voice of reason and Zen-like calm, Kermit.

Photo Credit: Casey Rodgers/Invision for Lipton/AP Images

In the just-released promo, (see below for a sneak peak), Kermit bounces through a busy cityscape with Animal clones everywhere before unwinding with a hot cup of tea. "In a world filled with high-stress wild-in-the-street types like Animal, you have to take time to enjoy life and 'Be More Tea,'" said Kermit in the official press release.

Tea on the rise

Tea as a category is already one of the hottest beverage trends around the globe, as it fits nicely into a number of important preferences driving consumers. Analysts describe some of these key drivers as:

1. Natural ingredients

2. Functional and health benefits

3. Simpler pleasures

4. Variety of taste experiences

5. Sustainable growing practices

Lipton has built a strong message around its natural ingredients and sustainable practices, and the purported health benefits of green tea have helped raise the drink to top-of-mind status among consumers as something that is good for you.

With "Be More Tea," Lipton hopes to also raise awareness about tea's potential to be a "simpler pleasure" – a nice balance to a market flooded with power and energy drinks.

While traditional carbonated beverages with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other difficult-to-pronounce ingredients are on the decline, tea has slowly crept into an ever-appreciated position in consumer choice.

Unilever plans to spend over $40 million this year to promote its teas and elevate the beverage even further in the minds of consumers, according to Advertising Age. The ad campaign may also help Lipton maintain dominance in the category over competitors Snapple, Nestlé's Nestea (NSRGY 0.11%), and Coca-Cola's (KO -0.72%) Fuze.

The power of the Muppets

In a world of influencer advertising, it's hard to argue with the power of having the Muppets on board. The appeal covers all age groups, with a steady stream of new movies ensuring fresh generations of Muppet-lovers.

The Muppets add an undeniable feel-good vibe with a not-too-sugary, wholesome image – a perfect fit for "Be More Tea."

Beth Nichols has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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