- Unilever's Tazo tea brand is again collaborating with hip-hop artist RZA to create the five-part "Guided Explorations" music collection and Zen teachings to stream from Spotify and Apple Music, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The "Guided Explorations" consist of RZA's lessons for overcoming creative challenges and achieving Zen. For example, the first episode titled "Kill the Noise" instructs listeners on how to avoid distractions that get in the way of realizing their creative potential.
- Tazo will post additional content on its Instagram account and urge users of the social media app to participate in conversations about the "Guided Explorations" using the #CampTAZO hashtag. Camp Tazo refers to an immersive workshop that RZA provided on Staten Island, New York, where he co-founded the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan.
Tazo isn't the using the term "podcast" to describe RZA's "Guided Explorations," but the five-part series does resemble the style of spoken-word content that's surged in popularity over the past few years. The number of U.S. consumers who listen to podcasts at least monthly jumped to 62 million last year from 19 million in 2013, Edison Research and Triton Digital found.
Tazo's audio series is a sign its collaboration with RZA on experiential events has been successful for the tea brand, which Unilever acquired from Starbucks for $384 million in 2017. The audio content arrives shortly after the tea brand hosted two "Camp Tazo" events for adults in the past year. Last month, it hosted "Camp Tazo: Zen," with RZA acting as a spiritual guide to assist participants through "Guided Explorations" to help them "free their minds, conquer doubts and seek the creative potential that exists within them." The first event in early 2019 featured guest camp director and drag star Alyssa Edwards, and was designed to get campers out of their comfort zones. Camp activities included hiking, foraging, cooking over a fire and boating.
Tazo developed the immersive experiences after learning from a consumer survey that three out of four people wanted to get out of their comfort zones and 70% regret not trying something new. While the first camp centered around outdoor activities, the second one with RZA took a more inward-looking approach that tapped into the mindfulness trend popular among millennials and Gen Zers. Younger consumers say they prefer these types of experiences over products, a trend supported by the popularity of sharing travel photos to social media.
RZA has collaborated with other brands on similar marketing efforts. In 2017, he teamed with Chipotle Mexican Grill to create Savor.wavs, a digital experience that turned Chipotle sounds and visuals into multimedia songs for each menu combination. The following year, the Wu-Tang Clan worked with Impossible Foods and White Castle to create a four-part space-themed video series about the plant-based burger.