Archive | June 2015

Why Do I Hate The Tetley Tea Folks?

tetley_tea_folk

Tetley Tea Folks. That’s right. The Tetley faux-Northern, fucking uncute Tea Folks with their flat caps and their mediocre beverage made from tea factory floor-sweepings.

I have no idea what went on in the minds of the advertising creatives who, in 1973, decided that the best way to market tea was to invent a group of quasi-gnomes from Keithley.  And why have Tetley kept doggedly re-booting these whippet-bothering bores over a forty year timespan? “The Tetley Tea Folks are back”… “Collect all seven tea folks” … “That’s better, that’s Tetley” … Superhero Teafolks … Medieval Teafolks …

Let’s compare the competitors:

The PG Tips monkey is awesome.

pg tips

The Churchill dog is funny and reminiscent of a popular historical figure who won a war.

churchill

That Russian meerkat is cute and has an even cuter baby meerkat. Nailed it.

meerkatjacuzzi_450x300

As for the sexy Cadbury’s Caramel bunny…

caramel-bunny-advertising-archives

So, now the tea folk are back (again) with a completely superfluous superhero rebooting:

superhero teafolk

What with tea being one of the biggest growth areas in the food and drink industry at the moment, Tetley are keen to cash in.  But the growth in tea is all about diversification and choice. Which might be what is so jarring about the Tea Folk.

The food and beverage industry encourages us to decide between decaf monkey-picked single-plantation white tea and detoxing vanilla-scented chai, while the Tetley Tea Folk come from a world where the only choice is “mug or cup, love?”.

Is it because I am so bourgeoise that I cannot abide the Tea Folk? Perhaps their real-ness and Northern-ness throws my own inauthenticity into relief. Do I subconsciously long for the girl I used to be: Northern, authentic, working class?

Do these dwarf-like harbingers of sentimentality remind me that I have betrayed my Yorkshire roots for the glamour of the cosmopolitain elite?

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