LIPTON BLENDS DIVERGING MESSAGES IN NEW TEA ADS: $15 MIL SPOT TV REPOSITIONING EFFORT WILL RUN ONLY IN SELECT COLD MARKETS

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Lipton Inc. is trying to put some magic into hot tea with its first advertising in at least two years, supported by an estimated $15 million budget and featuring a new positioning.

The spending behind the TV, print and radio campaign is somewhat remarkable because the effort is running-starting last week-only in key cold-weather markets.

In another unusual move, the strategy is to position hot tea as invigorating and soothing at the same time.

The ad theme: "Lipton. It's everything tea should be."

AFFECTING PEOPLE 2 WAYS

"It seems illogical on the face of it," said Richard DiLallo, senior partner at agency J. Walter Thompson USA, New York. "But research showed that Lipton tea affects people in two ways-it invigorates, refreshes and soothes, giving different effects to the same people at different times."

To convey the oxymoron in the spot, dubbed "Magic Potion," JWT spliced images of people relaxing, such as a woman in a hot tub, with action scenes such as a dramatic ski jump.

Lipton has an erratic history with its tea advertising. Although the market leader-with 39.2% of the $596.6 million category for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6, according to Information Resources Inc.-the company spent less than $1 million on ads last year for the brand.

Its biggest push in recent years was its acclaimed "Little Old Ladies" campaign that showed young women sipping the brand to dispute the notion that only old

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