A more meaningful cup of tea

Tea, Britain. Britain, Tea. Given the resonance of the cuppa in British society- its role as the perfect ‘excuse’ for a gossip, a liquid ‘thank you’ to the builders, a community pick-me-up following the riots and a source of warmth in the British winter (or make that summer too); it is no surprise that Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO have created an evocative tea ad.

The animated television advert is part of a £5 million integrated campaign for Twinings and tells the story of a woman crossing turbulent waters to find her inner-peace… a cup of Twinings tea- and that is what I really like about this ad, the fact it is a narrative and builds up to ultimate climax where the product is shown.

Metaphorically speaking, I think many women can identify with ad– being “lost at sea without oars” roughly translating as a bad day combined with work crisis and an unstable relationship. Perfect prerequisites for a soothing cup of tea. As such, the choice of music – a beautiful cover of The Calling’s Wherever you will go, performed by Charlene Soraia; is remarkably apt. You can almost hear the “you can do this” Twinings tea vibes, as the doves rescue the small (and oddly sail-less?!) boat.

However what really needs to be mentioned, and indeed saluted, is the animation itself– which is strategically used to imply that the Twinings woman could be any woman. I believe the animation gives the ad this atmospheric depth and a rather old-worldly, quaint quality. It reminds me slightly of the animation used in the classic film The Snowman, which is perhaps why when I first watched this ad, I was almost in suspense for something bad to happen. So thank god for the tea then- giving the ad that happy ending. The ad’s ups and downs also relevant to when it first aired- in the X-factor break, as it captured and built from that ‘sob story’ tear-jerking and self-discovery format of Saturday night TV, which so appeals to a largely female audience.

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