In just a few years, Lady Antebellum has earned its place in the entertainment spotlight. So their new partnership with Lipton isn’t so much about expanding their fan base as reinforcing the qualities that they’ve come to epitomize.
“In this time and culture, there’s never enough reminder about who an artist is,” insisted Gary Borman, Owner, Borman Entertainment and manager of Lady Antebellum. “Given the band’s solid relationship with the Country Music fan and their mainstream success, their name is out there. People know who they are. But it never hurts to remind the people exactly what they look like, what they sound like and what they represent.”
Lipton was about to introduce two products, Lipton Tea & Honey iced tea mixes and Lipton 100% Natural ready-to-drink bottled iced tea, with their biggest campaign of the year. So they called branding expert and Chief Strategist at Access Brand Strategies, Paul Jankowski. “The campaign is called ‘Drink Positive,’” Jankowski said. “And they reached out to us to help find the act that would personify the positioning and bring it to life. It was very clear that Lady A was the best option.”
It was a perfect match for several reasons, one of which was the buyers Lipton hoped to reach. “We specialize in helping brands ’speak American’ to what I call the New Heartland,” Jankowski explained. “The New Heartland is home to about 60 percent of U.S. consumers who live in the Midwest, the Southwest and the Southeast. With that being a big part of Lipton’s target, we were able to provide the campaign with a New Heartland perspective.”
Part of that involved just letting Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott be themselves. ”Bringing the personality of the band to light throughout the creative was an over-arching element,” Jankowski said. “It was pretty much across the board, from the television spots to the Web series: It all exudes their personalities, which goes back to the whole reason Lipton wanted to partner with them.”
Both sides worked together to define how ‘Drink Positive’ would present itself. “Lipton drove the creative,” said Borman. “But they were open to discussing their ideas. It was very collaborative, even through the shooting, editing and final editing processes. They were very sensitive to us and that made us all the more sensitive to their needs. That’s the beauty of this particular relationship.”
Beyond the appeal of Lady A specifically, Jankowski believes that Country Music generally offers unique access for brands to his New Heartland market. “We help brands create culturally relevant consumer engagement platforms,” he said. “To me, Country Music is one of the key things that bring that relevance to life.”
On Twitter: @LadyAntebellum
By Bob Doerschuk
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.