The “No” Grants

Pure Leaf Tea

Brand | Digital Transformation

In 2021, the world cheered as powerful women like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles said ‘’no’’ to expectations, pressure, and their sponsors. It echoed what women experience in their daily lives: burnout, exhaustion, and pressure, but without the protection of a large platform or safety net. Pure Leaf responded by taking on the cost of saying “no.”


We discovered that women already know how to say “no” at work, they just can’t afford to. From social stigma to losing out on pay and promotions, 2 in 3 women report experiencing negative outcomes when they say “no” at work. Pure Leaf, the iced tea brand that says no to artificial ingredients and sweeteners, believes “no” shouldn’t come with consequences.

To help women say “no” without a cost, Pure Leaf Tea decided to pay for it. To quantify the amount, we built a first-of-its-kind econometric study linking a national survey with economic wages and employment data to determine the financial cost women face each time they say "no" at work. The study found that women risk losing up to $1,406.00 in future earning potential each time they say "no."


We introduced No Grants during Women’s History Month and leveraged earned media to break through the media landscape to inspire women (especially the multicultural, lower-income women we found to be at the greatest risk of facing consequences for saying “no”) to apply for a grant.

To help spread the word, we partnered with Olympian Allyson Felix, who has visibly pushed back on powerful interests in her career. Not only did Allyson’s involvement generate excitement, but her personal connection to the “no” narrative also helped bring the story behind grants to life in an authentic way.

Beyond lifting the financial barrier for women to put their wellbeing first, Pure Leaf ensured that every grant recipient would receive free support services through a partnership with the SeekHer Foundation.


Together with Allyson, we invited anyone to apply for a “No” Grant through a simple mobile application process. On launch day, we conducted widespread media pitching, in English and Spanish, to general news, multicultural, entertainment/lifestyle, food and beverage, local news, and ad trade publications, sharing key campaign messaging, statistics, and visual assets to drive editorial and social coverage.

By the end of 2022, 100 women will receive “No” Grants, and Pure Leaf has committed $1M over the next three years to expand the program.


The campaign struck a nerve.

  • 100% positive sentiment across campaign coverage
  • 100% of coverage contained “No” Grants messaging 89% of initial launch coverage contained proprietary statistics
  • We also saw a lift in brand health for Pure Leaf:
    • +10% in top-of-mind awareness of Pure Leaf in Q1 2022
    • +38% in people who said Pure Leaf would be their first choice in iced teas in Q1 2022 as compared to Q1 2021
    • +11.7% buy rate among households who purchase Pure Leaf in Q1 2022 as compared to Q1 2021




Editorial & social placements


Grant applications and counting