2016 Social Media Awards: Instagram | PR Campaign

Winner: Honest Tea - #RefreshinglyHonest Campaign

Honest Tea has always been curious to see if the rest of the country feels as strongly about honesty as it does, so the company developed a lighthearted social experiment to find out. It set up unmanned, pop-up kiosks across the USA with signs reading "Honor System: $1 for every beverage you take." Honest’s teams were nearby, watching unobtrusively to see if people paid or stole their beverages when they thought no one was looking. It turns out 94% of Americans were honest.

While it's clear that people around the country are honest when given the choice to pay or steal, Honest wanted to find out if that honesty carried over to social media. As such, Honest encouraged people to highlight the unfiltered, imperfect "#RefreshinglyHonest" moments in their daily lives. Photos tagged with #RefreshinglyHonest on Instagram & Twitter were uploaded to the campaign site.

As a brand, Honest created over a dozen social media posts around the theme of being honest about its products, and highlighted the more mundane aspects of its business. These posts included a photo of a dented bottle, moms taking their children's Honest Kids pouches for themselves, etc. Honest then launched an ad campaign around these posts. Honest also activated Honest Tea influencers and targeted new influencers through an agency called Influential.co.

The campaign goal was 125,000 actions taken around #RefreshinglyHonest content on social media, and the final tally far exceeded Honest’s expectations, as 322,115 actions were taken around 500 posts reaching 17.2MM people.

Honorable Mentions:

  • American Kidney Fund - Practicing What We Preach
  • Edelman & AKQA with Activision - Destiny: The Taken King - Xuriosity
  • InStyle Awards
  • UN Foundation - Girl Up Team