PBS: Downton Abbey Tea Truck Street Marketing Experience

Since Downton Abbey began the Dowager Countess of Grantham has made it clear that The Colonies (hey, that’s us!) are in need of a serious education on proper Tea Service.

With that in mind, IRL Experiential concepted and executed the Downton Abbey Tea Truck Experience in partnership with The Media Kitchen and PBS.

For five days, Downton Abbey fans and superfans alike flocked from all corners of New York City to be served tea biscuits and a special Republic of Tea blend from a fully-wrapped food truck by properly attired maidservants and butlers. Additionally, fans of the show were treated to specially-created Downton Abbey content on the truck’s video screen.

This mobile street marketing event hit key hot spots in the city, including Union Square, Columbus Circle and Times Square, drawing significant crowds everywhere it went, despite a sudden snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures. In fact, the most common thing heard from visitors at the wrap of each day was “You’re still here…I’m so glad I made it on time!”

The program was such a hit that our costumed brand ambassadors were even asked onto the set of ABC Network’s Good Morning America to serve tea to the hosts.

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Key elements of the Downton Abbey Tea Truck Experience:

  • Wrapped truck with video screen
  • Brand ambassadors with real silver tea service
  • Hot tea and biscuits
  • Branded cups and cup sleeves
  • Branded tea bag giveaway

Its massive Twitter integration rippled through the internet: #DowntonPBS #Teatruck  (Sez the Dowager Countess: “What is an internet?”)  The Downton Abbey Tea Truck Experience received extensive press coverage, including:

  • Good Morning America
  • Gothamist
  • Huffington Post
  • Variety
  • New York Daily News
  • New York Post
  • Time
  • AM New York


It was Tweeted, Vined, blogged and Facebooked about endlessly by fans and superfans.

The Downton Abbey season 4 premiere was the highest rated episode in series history.

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