Ad Review: Good effort for shaky premise

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We can only surmise why Lipton Tea changed its name to Lipton Black Tea. Presumably the precise term makes Lipton seem less commonplace, more exotic-or, at least, more serious and attractive to a supposedly more sophisticated, younger crowd.

The risk is frightening off core users, who may think "black" tea is too strong, too bitter, too black or just too unfamiliar. As long as we're supposing, we further assume that Lipton is torn over its decision-which would explain the commercial from J. Walter Thompson, Sydney, simultaneously announcing and negating the change.

The spot is fake vintage footage of a `60s-era homemaker being visited by Dad and Mum, who is prattling on (by a male voice in silly falsetto) about Lipton Black Tea. "Of course, Lipton tea has always been black tea," she chirps. "Call it what you like; it's still a top drop."

This goofy little vignette leads to further qualification in the voice-over: "Lipton Black Tea. It's the technical term for the tea you love."

OK, that explains things, and may well assuage the panicked grandmothers out there ... but if you're going to apologize, why change the name to begin with? This is a perfectly good spot, advertising a perfectly ridiculous business decision.

Lipton Tea

J. Walter Thompson, Sydney

Ad Review Rating: 2 stars

Food is a tough category for global brands; Lipton gets a local tweak in Australia.

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