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Lipton spreads brand awareness through mobile photo sharing

Unilever?s Lipton is leveraging mobile and social through an Instagram contest that aims to get consumers talking about the brand instead of pushing products at them.

The Liptagram contest is the brand?s first foray into a global contest centered around photo sharing. The contest runs through March 2 and also includes a Facebook component.

"To celebrate Lipton?s new campaign in support of its classic black tea, Lipton created an interactive, sharable contest through Instagram to truly interact with today?s consumer," said Alfie Vivian, vice president of refreshments at Unilever North America, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
"Liptagram is helping the brand reach a broad base of consumers while bringing elements of its brand personality, which centers on brightness, excitement and the uplifting effects of tea to life in an exciting way that resonates with the social consumer," he said. 

"The Liptagram contest is housed on the Lipton Facebook page, the brand?s largest social platform, but we saw an opportunity to leverage two major platforms to create an even more dynamic user experience. This contest is truly about amplifying the community?s creativity and interpretations of the brand?s core messaging - the love of sharing positive moments. What better way to showcase that than through photography on a platform with 90 million active users and 40 million photos uploaded per day?"

Visual storytelling
The campaign involves four weekly themes that encourage consumers to upload photos to the Instagram application, all of which tie back into Lipton?s brand values. Each theme has a hashtag associated with it.

The four themes are #LiptonBrightness, #LiptonExcitement, #LiptonUplifting and #LiptonSpontaneous.

Consumers that participate will have the chance to win a trip for two to Kenya where they will visit Lipton?s Rainforest Alliance tea estates.

The contest is being rolled out in the United States, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan and Poland.

Mobile sharing
Instagram has become a main focus in how brands leverage mobile and social together nowadays.

However, some brands use Instagram to basically push products down users? throats instead of tapping into the more subtle ways that consumers use the app to share photos with friends and family members.

In this case, Lipton is smart to not focus the campaign around products since the ultimate goal is help users share moments of joy throughout the day.

Lipton is new newbie to using social media as a core part of its mobile initiatives.

For example, in 2011 the company launched a mobile campaign with Pandora that included a branded radio station and encouraged consumers to ?Like? the brand?s Facebook page (see story).

Then last year, Lipton ran mobile ads in the Spotify iPhone app as part of a bigger marketing campaign centered around YouTube (see story).

"We wanted to ensure that entry was easy. Using their mobile devices, fans are encouraged to capture images in real time and upload them to Instagram ? something that most of these consumers are already doing regularly. Fans are also able to stay informed of the contest?s weekly challenges and continue to enter," Mr. Vivian said.

"We consider Lipton a lifestyle brand, and we aim to bring the brand to life through a multi-channel approach to consumer engagement which will increasingly include a strong mobile presence," he said. "Liptagram is an exciting step to support our brand objectives and help us engage with current fans and inspire new adopters."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York