Nikki Wicks
Jan 22, 2015

In Indonesia, big brands go to Facebook first

SPECIAL REPORT: With the world’s fourth-largest Facebook population, it’s no surprise that brands like Mondelez and Coca-Cola are shifting their focus to the social network as a primary channel for campaigns in Indonesia.

Mondelez: Relied on Facebook for Oreo Mini launch
Mondelez: Relied on Facebook for Oreo Mini launch

Figures from the social network (see box below) suggest that 98 per cent of people who are online in Indonesia use the platform, contributing to over 71 million monthly active users—almost double the penetration of other popular online channels (Google+ stands at 54 per cent and Twitter at 44 per cent).

Despite huge TV penetration in the country, brands including Oreo, Coca-Cola, Lenovo and Garuda Indonesia have driven impressive results with Facebook at the centre of recent campaigns.

“Indonesia as a whole is still a TV-first market, with a third of its population being online,” said Ian Loon, regional director of the digital leadership team for Southeast Asia at Starcom MediaVest Group. “Within its urban cities, mobile is primarily driving internet-first societies. The country should become internet-first within the next 10 years, driven by rising affluence and lowering affordability of devices.”

This a similar story, Loon suggests, in many other emerging markets in the region, including Vietnam and the Philippines. But with its “massive democratic populous”, Indonesia has risen to become the fourth largest Facebook population in the world, with its capital, Jakarta, earning the title as the tweeting capital of the world.

“The Facebook population in Indonesia is massive, and Coca-Cola’s core target audience is engaged on this platform," said Quinn Donato, Coca-Cola Indonesia media and interactive manager (see case study below).

Perhaps reflective of the value placed on Indonesia’s flourishing social-media population, the country is home to the only other Facebook office apart from Singapore, within Southeast Asia.

Last year, Mondelez International wanted to launch Oreo Mini in Indonesia. Partnering with its agencies Dentsu Mobius, FCB and Carat, Mondelez decided to use Facebook as a primary channel to reach Indonesia’s young people.

Facebook Indonesia (as of Sept. 2014)

  • Daily active users: 37 million
  • Monthly active users: 71 million
  • Mobile daily active users: 33 million
  • Mobile monthly active users: 63 million

“In Indonesia, it is common practice for Mondelez to use TV to launch products,” said Lisa Walton, regional strategy director at Dentsu Mobius. “However TV is nearing 100 per cent saturation for the target audience, and clutter is a major issue."

By contrast, the country is seeing fast adoption of digital channels with improving infrastructure. "This means that Facebook can be used to cut through the saturated TV market,” she said.

Mondelez aimed to reach at least 13.7 million young adults in Indonesia with the six-week campaign. The Mini Oreo launch exceeded that target, reaching 18.6 million target consumers, gaining more than 146 million impressions and scoring a five-point increase in purchase intent for the Oreo brand.

“Facebook was the sole channel for digital for the purpose of the test and learn,” said Walton. “This campaign showed that real business results can be achieved through social media. Importantly for Mondelez, it also showed that the channel can be an important choice to activate mums rather than just reach the younger millennials.”

Loon argued that it’s logical for brands to give Facebook campaigns a shot “after jumping on the 'fan acquisition' bandwagon over the past three years.” Facebook, he said, has been highly aggressive with its business-solution sales narrative, which appeals to not only brand marketers seeking reach and uplift but also performance marketers looking at effective conversions.

So will this trend continue?

Mobile looks set to continue to drive the nation's social-media and Facebook behaviour forward. According to a new forecast by eMarketer, Indonesia is home to the third-largest mobile Facebook audience in the world, after the US and India. The study said that by the end of the forecast period (2018), the number of people in Indonesia accessing social networks via mobile phones will approach 100 million—and will still be growing at double-digit rates. Mobile Facebook users will pass the 50 per cent mark in 2018.

“Facebook, along with Google, will remain primary platforms for brands this year as both have, and are continuing to develop products that drive strong ROI for brand and performance metrics,” said Loon. “In most parts of the world, both platforms already occupy more than 50 per cent share of spend within digital. If we could turn this around, we'd say that for the first time in many years, Google is facing a serious challenger in Facebook.”

CASE STUDY: How Coca Cola connected with Indonesia’s teens for the FIFA World Cup

As an official sponsor of the World Cup since 1978, Coca-Cola has had stadium advertising at every tournament since 1950. For the event in Brazil this year, Coca-Cola wanted to raise awareness and brand association with the World Cup among teens and young adults in Indonesia. To connect with a core target audience of 13- to 29-year-olds, Coca-Cola produced a music video—a local adaptation of a global idea starring artists David Correy and Millane Fernandez called "Dunia Kita" ("The World Is Ours"). With 52 million target consumers on Facebook, Coca-Cola opted to focus the campaign on the social-media platform.


Coca-Cola’s core aim was to maximise video plays and achieve a measurable lift in brand association and ad recall. Working with Mediacom Indonesia, Coca-Cola uploaded the music video direct to Facebook, which meant users were kept on the platform; viewers watched the video in their News Feed without having to leave the site.

Quinn Donato, Coca-Cola Indonesia media and interactive manager, said Facebook was chosen as the primary platform for the campaign for two key reasons: “First, the Facebook population in Indonesia is massive, and Coca-Cola’s core target audience is engaged on this platform,” he said. ”Second, we had rich anthem video content and Facebook's News Feed makes it easy to play videos, particularly on mobile.”


The campaign reached millions of Indonesians, and Coca-Cola said they saw a measurable lift in both ad recall and message association. The Facebook campaign delivered 1.48 million video plays in five weeks. In addition, it reached 17.1 million people, and 32 per cent of the target market (Indonesians under the age of 29) saw the campaign. According to research company Nielsen, 67 per cent of those polled associated Coca-Cola with the 2014 FIFA World Cup after seeing an advertisement on Facebook. In another study by Millward Brown, the brand was the most-recognised sponsor of the month-long football tournament in Brazil. 



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