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Tea Is a Swirling, Underwater Ballet In This New Spot

Earl Grey gets colorful in a new underwater dance from Kusmi Tea.

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing cup of tea is there? However, when we kick back and inhale the aroma of our favourite brew we probably don’t give much thought to the different elements that form the whole.

This elegant TV spot for French company Kusmi Tea attempts to capture the various forms of "blends"—blends of tea, cultures, colors and people—with one overall creative concept.

The ad, entitled "Anastasia" for the company's Earl Grey blend seeks to merge Imperial Russia with Victorian London. It is the latest in a series created by for Kusmi Tea by French ad agency Quai des Orfèvres. The campaign uses the strapline "The Beauty of Blends" which sounds considerably more evocative in French—"La beauté des mélanges."

For the ads, the agency submerged a replica Haussmann apartment (the residential buildings that line Parisien boulevards) in water. Actors from India, China, Brazil and Russia (representing each tea blend’s country of origin) intertwine their bodies in swirling underwater dances. A film (in French) of the process is here.

This video shows 45-second cinema spot from 2014, which combines elements of the three earlier TV commercials, each representing one of three "beauty blends".

Kusmi Tea currently operates mainly in France but is expanding into new markets including the US and Europe and, while its retro packaging might look like that of a hipster start-up, the company has actually been around for almost 150 years. It was founded in 1867 in St Petersburg, Russia by Pavel Michailovitch Kousmichoff and relocated to France at the onset of the Russian Revolution in 1917.

Creative direction is by Richard Cohen, copywriting by Rudy Bamberg and the film is directed by Jeremy Charbit.

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