In business trip to Vietnam in May 2011, Heineken’s global CEO Michel de Carvalho was bloody impressed by growth rate of this international beer brand in this country. In 2010, Vietnam was the third biggest of Heineken just being led by the USA and France. It is forecast that Vietnam will be the Heineken’s biggest beer market in 2015.
What is the reason behind Heineken’s extraordinary success? one of the appealing factor is its premium image in the beer drinkers’ mind that is undoubtedly derived from superb series of TV commercials. This brand’s characterized by delicately humour appeals that really touch audience’s emotion. In other words, Heineken’s above-the-line communication along with pos phrase “It can only be Heineken” reinforce its brand positioning in premium beer segment.
In Vietnam market, TV ads is always most broadly used by most brands. Brand owners are very driven by the statistics where 91% consumers in Hanoi are guided by advertising in their purchasing decision and this figure is 45% in HCMC (Nielsen, 2009).
The reality is that good TV commercials like that of Heineken is exceptional and today Vietnamese audience are bombarded with a number of low-quality or even silly TV ads everyday. Consumers in Vietnam are not alone. According to Millward Brown research, on average only 7% of today’s TV ads are impressive to audience.
The arising issue is how effective their money spending on TV ads? In a country of immature marketing industry like Vietnam, consumers are still likely to be influenced by advertising. Nevertheless, it does not necessarily that they are easy-going towards any ads. Conversely, they will tune off to other channel to run away from your ads and your advertising money will be wasteful.
Are marketers aware of this practice? we are not sure. However, this reality does give good ads a great chance to be prominent and more importantly, they act as an emotional connection with the target audience.
Unfortunately, very few Vietnamese brands manage to take advantage of this opportunity. For those, who manage, the success is very rewarding.
Electrolux’s TV and ads was aired nearly 20 years ago with a very impressive creative tagline “Still running well”. An Electrolux advertising campaign that ran nearly 20 years ago (created by Richard Moore Associates) featured the phrase “Still running fine.” It not only fit Electrolux’s “durability” positioning but was also a super fit to consumption habit and expectation of Vietnamese consumer at that time. Until today nearly every Vietnamese people can recall this ads and thereby Electrolux brand exist lively in consumer mind. A great reward, its”n it?
Similar good examples are Bitis foot-ware brand’s TV commercial with the superb tagline “We take care of Vietnamese feet” or recent VinaFone 3G TVC where a short & funny zingle has become popular for Vietnamese people .
Are you bothered with very bad TV commercials every time when you open your Tv at home? I am not surprised if you are. That is why I deliberately do not refer to any of them in this articles.
Simply I do not want to make you more stressful. Instead, let’s enjoy your favorite movies and retrospect scarcely good ads.
Nguyen Duc Son
Brand Strategy Director – Richard Moore Associates