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Sri Lanka Tea Board Launches Global Promotion of Ceylon Tea

Dentsu Grant receives mandate for consultancy services for media planning, scheduling and buying the Rs. 4.5 billion campaign, the single largest initiative to market the Ceylon Tea brand globally

The Sri Lanka Tea Board on Wednesday (21) awarded a Rs. 219 million media contract to Dentsu Grant to commence a global marketing campaign for Ceylon Tea. The campaign aims to re-establish the premium position of Ceylon Tea in 12 priority markets and reinforce its association with the Lion Logo, the symbol of premium quality.

The agreement was signed at that the Sri Lanka Tea Board in the presence of the Hon. Minister of Plantation Industries, Navin Dissanayake. Signing on behalf of the Sri Lanka Tea Board was Mr. J. A. Ranjith, Secretary of the Ministry of Plantation Industries, while Finance Director, Mr. Romesh Fernando and Vice President, Ms.Laila Gunesekere of DentsuGrant (Pvt) Ltd signed for the agency.

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Ceylon Tea has been cherished by tea connoisseurs all over the world for over 150 years. But rapidly evolving global consumer preferences and aggressive marketing by the beverage industry has curtailed the growth of Ceylon Tea’s market share.

“Ceylon Tea continues to attract a premium in the global market and is in the top five exports for Sri Lanka,” Navin Dissanayake, the Minister of Plantation Industries, said. “To sustain and grow Ceylon Tea’s market share, we need to be more aggressive in our approach to attracting new consumer segments and stand out in the beverage market. The campaign will also connect the Ceylon Tea brand with Sri Lanka as the country of origin and support the nation branding initiative of the government.”

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In an environment where competition from other tea-growing countries and alternate beverage options are competing for a share of the business, the campaign will contribute towards re-igniting interest in the Ceylon Tea brand and strengthening its premium position in the global market.

“The challenge before the media agency Dentsu Grant is to plan and implement a very well-thought-out strategic media campaign that will reach the diverse but carefully targeted audiences within the 12 countries,” Rohan Pethiyagoda, the outgoing Tea Board chairman added.

Dentsu Grant brings over 60 years of experience in working with local and international brands and has helped launch many brands that are household names today. The group also bring the strength of its leading global network, with access to the best in class resources from 355 offices in 143 countries with 58,000 co-workers.

Dentsu Grant Chairperson, Neela Marikkar said, "Today we live in a digital world and reaching consumers in an innovative and engaging manner has become an art. The advent of the millennial generation has also meant that many are not aware of the premium and artisanal quality of pure Ceylon Tea, and the health benefits of drinking black teas.”

“With our strong digital and media capabilities, bespoke data mining tools and in-depth consumer understanding built over the last 60 years, we are confident in rebuilding the Ceylon Tea brand. To top it all off, the opportunity to work with an important brand with historic roots such as Ceylon Tea is a significant milestone and a celebration of the agency’s 60th anniversary on 1st April,” she concluded.