Cause Marketing Case Study: How Tata Tea's video strategy made pre-activism exceptional

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Cause Marketing Case Study

Category Introduction

India is world’s one of the largest producer and consumers of tea.

Domestic consumption is ~ 1070 million kg. The market is vertically split between branded (~550 million kg) and unbranded/loose (520 million kg) tea segment. By value – branded tea is ~ Rs 15000 Cr per annum.

Domestic consumption is growing by ~5% by volume and ~7% by value. We feel the category would continue to grow – aided by secular trend of population growth as well as addition of new occasions.

Brand Introduction

Jaago Re was launched in 2007, transforming a humble cup of tea to a symbol of social awakening. While India is a nation that wakes up with a cup of tea in the morning, Jaago Re became the wakeup call for the society. Over the years, the campaign has challenged status quo and strived to drive the message of ‘be the change you wish to see in the society’.

While Jaago Re helped stir things up by urging the people to introspect and be the change makers, with Jaago Re 2.0 “Alarm Bajne Se PehleJaago Re”, Tata Tea aimed at changing the nature of ‘Reactivism’ to ‘Pre-activism’ – timely activism that could work towards preventing these unfortunate incidents from occurring.

Marketing Objective for Social Media

Build awareness and credibility for the brand campaign and generate conversations around the new brand approach of ‘pre-activism’ across relevant consumer touch points.

Key focus areas were:

  • Establish a stronger connection between Tata Tea and Jaago Re in the minds of people
  • Get people to engage with Tata Tea
  • Position Tata Tea as a thought-leader when it comes to social awakening, through original, hard-hitting social content

Birth of Pre-Activism

Over the past decade, cause-based marketing was adopted by many brands leading to high levels of clutter. The brand’s voice was lost in this noise and in turn was affecting its share of mind.

We needed a disruption that could catapult Tata Tea’s cause-based messaging to a new level,” shares Puneet Das, Marketing Head – Tea, Tata Global Beverages.

For this, Tata Tea delved into society’s behaviour around activism itself.

“We reflected on our collective penchant for post facto activism; our self-righteous indignation and rage-filled presence at unfortunate occurrences after they have occurred. Can social activism be made more impactful? What behaviour should change to enable this?” In doing so, we realised and gave birth to a new idea: PRE-ACTIVISM. A preventive mind-set and behaviour that inspires people to prevent tragedies and take corrective actions before their occurrence,” Das shares.

Also Read: How Brooke Bond Red Label created a content property to reach the younger demographic

Pre-Activism expressed as “ALARM BAJNE SE PEHLE JAAGO RE

India was roaring with anger when it saw poor performance in the Olympic. Everyone was blaming the poor facilities and funding those sports got. Over 3 lakh farmers have ended their lives since 1995 and there are 90 rapes every day.

Tata Tea introduced the idea with a television commercial revolving it around these three alarming issues; Rapes, Farmer suicides and inadequate sports facilities. The brand reflected on these issues and many more to demonstrate pre-activism as the new behaviour to prevent them from happening.

Problem Statement

  • To build thought leadership in the category
  • Create buzz around the brand ‘Tata Tea’


The core remained the same:

  • Get a bigger share of mind by rekindling love for Tata Tea and get people to re-engage with the brand
  • Reinstate its stature as a thought-leader

But the brief was to re-position reposition Jaago Re and leverage the existing equity while doing something which is path breaking and completely different in terms of the idea as well as story-telling.


  • Key challenge was to introduce the new concept of pre-activism by making it relevant to our consumers
  • Drive conversations and eventually actions around it while delivering reach and frequency


Tata segregated their audience into 3 key segments depending on their propensity to adopt pre-activism, and developed content to reach out to them.

For the pre-activist who already understood the importance of acting to make a difference, the tea brand leveraged a host of influencers. For an audience who understood issues but whose action rested in digital and social action we looked at social publishers sharing this message.

For a mass that needed to understand the concept of pre-activism in their daily lives contextualized pre-activism through content.

The campaign was divided into three distinct phases, each with a different objective and execution approach:

  1. Phase 1: Awaken people to pre-activism
  2. Phase 2: Inspire and facilitate Pre-activism
  3. Walk the talk on Pre-activism

Phase 1: To seed the concept of ‘pre-activism’ and to ensure sustained levels of conversation and engagement, Tata Tea leveraged key consumer moments through micro campaigns that spelt out “how to pre-act”. From video featuring young girls asking their mothers relevant questions on gender bias on Women’s Day to a simple factoid video on how to save water when drinking tea on World Water Day, each micro-campaign created high impact for the brand across different platforms.

Phase 2: Phase 2 of the campaign was aimed to  inspire people to be  a part of the change and pre-act on two critical issues:

  • Women Safety
  • Lack of Sports Culture

On each of the issues the brand encouraged people to pre-act by signing a petition which would be submitted to the HRD Ministry and pledge to bring about a change in their personal life:

  • Issue 1: Women Safety
    • Petition: To the HRD Ministry to make Gender Sensitization compulsory in school curriculum
    • Pledge: Parents to practice /teach gender sensitivity to kids at home


  • Issue 2: Lack of Sports Culture
  • Petition: To the HRD Ministry to make sports as a compulsory subject in the school
  • Pledge: Pledge to participate in and support at least one local sport event. Parents also pledge to take their children to these events

Phase 3: TGBL Walked the Talk

TGBL walked the talk on the two chosen issues and demonstrate pre-activism:

  • Women Safety
  • Lack of Sports Culture
 Also Read: A conclusive History of Cause Marketing – The Jaago Re chapter

Women Safety

  • TGBL partnered with Edusports and created a property “Project Suraksha” to conduct self-defense training for girls. The program is aimed at building physical skills in the form of combat practices and mental makeup to handle stress
  • Reach: 4 states, 10 districts each; 10 schools / dist; 400 schools; 1 lakh girls

Lack of Sports Culture

  1. TGBL partnered with High Life and created a property “Champions of Tomorrow” to identify talented athletes in the country through a nation wide athletic competition.  12 promising athletes are bring sent to Louborough University in UK for an 8 day rigorous training to develop their skills
  2. Reach: 6 cities, 500+ schools; 6 intra-city athletic meet; 1 national athletic meet; 12 students travel to UK


  1. 8 Mn petitions signed on the two critical issues of women safety and sports encouragement, which were then submitted to the HRD Minsiter
  2. TVC launch on Twitter received record breaking engagement of 49% ,which is higher than benchmarks of 3-4%
  3. Significant improvement in the mind measures of the Tata Tea brands across centres
  4. The campaign garnered a 100 million+ reach and recorded 300 million plus impressions on Facebook.
  5. Total engaged users on Facebook were 7,732,933 and campaign engagement crossed 4,437,901.
  6. Total impressions on Twitter were recorded at 8,101,235 and the total engagement was 8,05,747 at the Engagement Rate of 11%.

Social Samosa is on the lookout for brands who boast of such innovative and clutter-breaking campaigns. Are you one? Nominate your brand for Best Social Media Brands now and claim your SAMMIE.

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