Winning Tết in Vietnam: 3 lessons marketers can learn from award-winning campaigns

Ninh Do / September 2019 / Video, Vietnam

With a population of more than 95 million and smartphone penetration at 72%, Vietnam has a lot of potential consumers browsing online every day. And in these moments, they often turn to YouTube. In fact, Vietnam is among the top five countries with the highest watch time on YouTube globally.

This behavior is especially important in the lead-up to Tết, the Vietnamese New Year that also marks the start of spring. Last year, YouTube saw a 600% increase in search volumes from November 2018 to February 2019,1 and consumer household spending reached $1.9 billion during Tết, which fell on February 17th.2

As consumers in Vietnam turn to YouTube during the holiday, advertisers have an opportunity to influence their purchase decisions. Learn how to stand out this Tết season with three lessons from some of the YouTube Works Award winners’ campaigns.

1. Know your Tết audience

Planning is critical to your campaign’s success. Preparations for Tết begin two months in advance, usually in early November.3 Deciding when to launch a campaign and which platforms to use require a deep understanding of Tết’s “golden moments,” the times when searches spike for certain product categories, such as food or entertainment.4

“Understanding insights around consumer habits and behaviors allowed us to make the bold decision to shift the direction of our messaging.”

For example, our Best Breakthrough Advertiser Award winner, Suntory PepsiCo, knew that consumers eat heavier traditional food during Tết, so the company changed its marketing strategy for its Tea+ brand from gifting to health, knowing that a healthier beverage option would appeal to consumers. To promote its “body light, feel light” campaign message, the brand hired Vietnamese comedian Huynh Lap to perform an entertaining parody song. Using a tease, amplify, echo strategy, the campaign generated more than 22 million views on YouTube and 2 million new app installs during Tết.

“Understanding insights around consumer habits and behaviors allowed us to make the bold decision to shift the direction of our messaging from gifting to health,” said Nguyen The Tung, marketing manager at Suntory PepsiCo.

2. Break through the clutter

Compelling creative begins and ends with the message at the core of your campaign. To create memorable content for Tết, brands need to:

  1. develop creative based on Tết insights;
  2. build for the right objective (e.g., awareness, sales uplift, app installations, etc.);
  3. create consumer-centric — not brand-centric — content;
  4. collaborate with the right content creators.
“Our media planning … allowed us to plot out the campaign timeline more effectively and reach consumers all along their purchase journeys.”

For example, our Best Media Orchestration Award winner, Philips Vietnam, wanted to promote its appliances by addressing the individual needs of consumers with relevant creative. Using YouTube’s audience solutions, the brand was able to serve highly personalized messages to niche audiences like long-time homemakers, young settlers, and workaholics. Deployed in phases based on web traffic and search volume, the campaign garnered 23.4 million views and accounted for 2.4 billion VND worth of online sales from December 2018 to January 2019.

“Our media planning was timed based on golden moments on YouTube and Google,” said Le Tan Anh, marketing manager at Philips Vietnam. “This allowed us to plot out the campaign timeline more effectively and reach consumers all along their purchase journeys during Tết season.”

YouTube creators can be another resource when it comes to developing a memorable campaign. Creators have highly engaged fans who love them for their friendly, funny, and authentic content. That’s why more and more brands are partnering with them to reach attentive, loyal audiences.

“Choosing a creator who fits with your brand personality and marketing budget plays a critical role in driving campaign success.”

For example, our Best Collaboration Between Brand & YouTube Creators Award winner, Mirinda, wanted to stay top of mind with consumers and promote laughter during Tết, so it partnered with Bich Phuong, a famous Vietnamese singer and YouTube creator, to create a humorous music video featuring its product. The video earned over 66 million views and drove a 41% increase in sales volume during Tết season.

“The power of YouTube creators is undeniably rising and brands should try to leverage their influence to highlight their messages,” said Nghi Phan, marketing manager at Suntory PepsiCo for Mirinda. “Choosing a creator who fits with your brand personality and marketing budget plays a critical role in driving campaign success.”

Creating consumer-centric content is another key to developing high-impact campaigns. While most brands use YouTube to boost awareness, others are using it as a social platform to engage viewers and start conversations. By using the right formats at the right moments, brands can create campaigns that exceed performance expectations.

3. Spot and unlock compelling insights

Tết season calls for campaigns that can capture and sustain consumers’ attention over the course of 10 weeks. That means brands have to home in on the right consumer insight and develop unique ways to deliver messaging through the holiday. By using dynamic creative and a variety of media formats, savvy brands can repurpose their creative assets and serve them differently to different audiences, keeping users engaged and driving real business results.

For example, our Grand Prix Award winner, ViettelPay, a money transfer app, wanted to increase its brand awareness during Tết when these transactions occur more frequently. Looking to boost app installs, the brand launched a multi-phase YouTube campaign featuring more than 27 videos. In addition to a music video and three educational videos that explained how to use the app, ViettelPay served users 60-, 30-, and 15-second versions of its existing TV ad, resulting in over 22.7 million views and more than 2 million app installs.

Winning Tết 2020

As consumers in Vietnam begin to prepare for Tết, brands will have to compete for their attention. Cut through the clutter by developing memorable creative campaigns that speak to real consumer needs or insights.

“Creativity in Vietnam’s advertising space is definitely on the rise,” said Shankar Rajagopal, country head at Mindshare Vietnam. “The competitive Tết season always brings out the best in creativity, innovation, and storytelling from Vietnam’s brands and agencies.”

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