How to get Earned Media? The HonestTea case…

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For some companies the PR and marketing strategy is heading towards a new tactic called Earned Media. Although Earned Media is not a brand new topic anymore, it is important to understand the difference to paid and owned media. This little infographic by Forrester Research explains nicely the value proposition of each of the communication channels and how the user leverages it (or not)…

The best way to describe it is to have a good case. HonestTea started a social guerilla campaign with the help of their agency SS+K. The company set up unnamed tea stalls across the seven largest American cities to leverage the brand from it’s niche status from niche to a well-known brand. The questions were: Are people honest and pay a dollar for it’s iced tea when no cash-point is a there – just by motivating the people to throw the money in a bowl? And: Can people steal from a company called „HonestTea“?

Then the experiment was recorded with hidden cameras to proof the outcome. The case study showed that 87% of Americans were honest and paid their dollar. And the idea attracted a lot of local, national media and bloggers to grow the brand reputation not only national but also international. The videos were presented in HonestTea’s Youtube channel and got many reviews, brilliant comments and lot of social media coverage. The KPIs of the campaign showed a double in sales and generated 2,79 Mio. USD in Earned Media according to the summary video. But… watch yourself!

HONEST TEA from SS+K on Vimeo.

PS: The biggest challenge for companies is how to messure Earned Media and what the KPIs are. The number of 2,79 Mio. USD sounds a great deal but how did it sum up for the company that just merged with CocaCola? Maybe this post will get some feedback from the CEO Seth Goldman?

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6 Kommentare zu "How to get Earned Media? The HonestTea case…"

  1. Zoe Geddes-Soltess am 23.03.2011 13:56 

    I really enjoyed this article. I think it highlights what makes social media such a unique and valuable channel of communication in that it allows the consumers to speak for the brand. In this case, the people at Honest Tea didn’t come up with a premeditated marketing message. They developed a hypothesis, identified how to measure their results, and then sat back and watched their “social experiment” play out. I wonder if even Honest Tea could have expected the success of their marketing campaign, both in its execution and the response it received. Thank you for providing an excellent example of how brands can benefit from social media by trusting their consumers to be brand ambassadors.

    Zoe Geddes-Soltess
    Community Engagement Specialist – Radian6

  2. Martin Meyer-Gossner am 24.03.2011 12:20 

    Zoe, thank you for the positive feedback. Shame, we have not heard anything from CEO Seth Goldman… Obviously, they are not massively using social media monitoring as aprt of their strategy, or he is too busy. Will ping him… ;-)

  3. How To Blog on:How to get Earned Media? The HonestTea case… | MiloRiano: How Tos tips, news, guide am 24.03.2011 13:38 

    […] Read more from the original source: How To Blog on:How to get Earned Media? The HonestTea case… […]

  4. Zoe Geddes-Soltess am 24.03.2011 14:14 

    Ad Age did an interesting interview with Seth after the acquisition of Honest Tea by Coca-Cola was announced. If you haven’t read it yet, here is the link:

  5. Another Earned Media example – A machine that unites people… am 12.05.2011 10:10 

    […] and the power of the community. Ideally, your marketing idea also includes some kind of innovation. HonestTea was my favorite case study so far. Now, the Coca-Cola Friendship Machine is showing another great […]

  6. Honesty – The ambient campaign driver that brings virtues back…? am 19.07.2011 09:57 

    […] wrote about the interesting HonestTea campaign. That campaign not only proved the value of Earned Media but more importantly how honest […]

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