Typhoo Tea The Better Way to Wake Up

Typhoo, the third most popular tea in the UK, has recently been bought by Indian company Apeejay International Tea Ltd. In 2004 Typhoo, then under the ownership of Premier Foods, was promoted in the UK with three television advertisements ending with the line, “Typhoo: the better way to wake up”. Each ad, in documentary style, featured a family comparing the power of Typhoo with a bizarre way to start the way: a drill sergeant, buckets of water, and a cockerel.

Typhoo Drill Sergeant at breakfast table

Drill Sergeant

A drill sergeant bursts into the couple’s bedroom yelling at the top of his voice. The camera cuts to the woman talking to the camera. We see a box of Typhoo being exchanged for the sergeant at the front door. “Wake up soldier!” is yelled into the face of the sleeping woman. “Molies Molies” is yelled at the husband brushing his teeth. Children are harangued into eating up their breakfast. Those who don’t cooperate are forced to do press ups and star jumps. The ad finishes with the sergeant leaving and the woman claiming back her box of Typhoo.

“This week Typhoo have asked us to see if a drill sergeant can make a better wake up call than my Typhoo. He’s a bit intense. Yeah really loud. We began to miss our Typhoo. Very early on Michael my husband found it tough. He’s not used to the exercise. I mean it was an experience. But Typhoo is so much nicer.”


Typhoo Water Man leavesA couple are woken up with water poured over their faces in their bed. The camera moves to them speaking in their dining room – documentary style. We see them at their front door exchanging a packet of Typhoo tea for a white-jacketed man with a bucket. Time and time again they are taken unawares – drenched with the bucket of cold water. Finally the man leaves and the couple happily retrieve their Typhoo tea.

“This week Typhoo asked us to compare cold water to the wake up power of Typhoo. I didn’t realise that a bucket could hold so much water. That was a nightmare wasn’t it – breakfast time. We began to miss our typhoo very early on. We were sick of the water by day two, well day one really. But I mean it did wake you up. You know, who’d want to stay in a wet bed? We were very happy to get the Typhoo back.”


Typhoo rooster oversees children brushing teethA rooster flaps his wings, crows and jumps on to the couple’s bed. They’re awake. Once again we see the woman talking, this time on her couch. We see scenes of bedlam as the rooster oversees cooking in the kitchen, roosts above the bathroom sink, sits on the windscreen of the car as Michael leaves for work and harrasses the woman as she dresses. Finally the cockerel is exchanged for the box of tea.

“Well this week Typhoo asked us to test the wake up power of a cockerel to see it it’s better than my usual cup of Typhoo. Well breakfast time was a bit… a bit tricky. Everywhere he looked he’d suddenly appear. It sounded like fun at first. But it’s a lot of effort having a cockerel all the time. He took a real shine to Michael. He said he woke you up. I just really am glad to have Typhoo back.”

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Better Way campaign was developed at CHI, London, by creative director Charles Inge, copywriter Greg Mutton, art director Stuart Button, and agency producer Ben Clarke. CHI was given the brief of helping with a product USP – Unique Selling Proposition. They aimed at motivating drinkers to purchase Typhoo for their first cup of the day. All ads and sponsorship idents were shown between 6.30 and 9.30am. Sponsoring GMTV sealed Typhoo’s association with the morning.

The Typhoo TV ads were directed by Martin Granger and produced by Matt Brown at Bikini Films with director of photography Dick Pope and executive producer Kate Elson.

Post production was carried out at Smoke & Mirrors and editing was done by Sam Sneade at Speade. Sound production was done by Toby Griffin at Zoo Studios.

Media planning and buying was by Zenith Optimedia.

Typhoo LogoTyphoo Tea was formed in 1903 by William Sumner, a Birmingham grocer, after his sister found that broken orange pekoe fannings aided her digestion. He invested in thirty chests and set up as a tea packer using the brand name “Typhoo Tipps”. Typhoo merged with Schweppes in 1968 and Cadbury in 1969, finally merging with other tea companies under the ownership of Premier Brands. Typhoo is the UK’s third largest tea brand, behind Unilever’s PG Tips and Tata Tea’s Tetley.


First Boards Awards, 2004 (Winner: Greg Mutton & Stuart Button) for Creative Teams
International Food and Beverage Creative Excellence Awards – FAB Awards, 2004 (FAB) for Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Cannes Lions – International Advertising Festival, 2004 (Silver Lion Campaign) for Non-Alcoholic Drinks
CLIO Awards, 2005 (Bronze) for Campaign.