The 21st century has been witnessing a swift turn in Vietnamese advertisers’ mindset, from functional, hygienic content toward emotions.
All love starts with a story
Storytelling is a chosen way to build brand love. It started with Comfort’s story about the characters Andy & Lily some years ago.
Storytelling is still proving its power to engage with consumers emotionally. For example, Coke launched its 'Taste the feeling' campaign, which evokes daily feelings and experiences.
One challenge is how to scale up emotional tales, whereby some stories take more than 30 seconds to tell, not to mention how to integrate the message across touchpoints if the brand is to reach critical mass.
Power of motions
Video marketing has become unavoidable in media planning. As more consumers go digital for searching and now more for entertainment, even FMCG brands produce and invest in viral clips on YouTube to build emotional bonding with consumers.
Among YouTube's Ads Leaderboard lists, four brands—VIM, Neptune (above), Tide and Comfort—target mothers and the majority of their consumers are in rural areas. For some brands it is difficult to say whether this is effective investment or not. However, it seems that marketers cannot say no to this medium while it becomes a trend.
New video platform: Facebook
Video marketing will be the battleground where Facebook and YouTube fight for Vietnamese marketers. Currently YouTube still lead the game, but Facebook, which enjoys more engagement on its videos and is constantly adding new functions as Facebook Live, which has been popularly adopted by local celebrities and influencers, may change the game.
Brand image now can speak to hearts
Emoticons are big in Vietnam, especially with members of the younger generation, which feel more conmfortable expressing themselves with emoticons rather than meeting others. These emerging emoticons have been deployed creatively by Coke with its Coke emoticons in 2015 on Zing Mp3: the no.1 online music platform in Vietnam
Mirinda also made laughter out of emoji by suggesting voice emoticons as a new currency for lucky wishes during 2016 Lunar New Year Tet campaigns of Vietnam early 2016.
This trend has been significantly present on chat environments, where brands have been spending marketing effort on Zalo, the most popular local chat app in Vietnam.
The “Facebook Lever”
Social media, especially Facebook gives more opportunities for small brands and businesses. There are 35 million Vietnamese with Facebook accounts.
However, it seems that these digital channels are more beneficial for small brands and online retailers, when consumers have tendency to search for information to serve for their special needs. For the big brands, it’s more about the brand relationship and have to address the challenge why the consumers have to care & visit their pages on a frequent basis.
When content shifts towards storytelling, channels shift towards intimate social network and the “big thing” is in fact some tiny emotional faces, it signals an inevitable trend towards feelings rather than perception. And beside being a white space for small, independent brands to win their consumers, this trend is a challenge for big enterprises to move their heavy system alongside with the mood swings of this new wave.
Dang Hoai An (left) is head of marketing for Microsoft Mobile Devices Vietnam. Hung Vo (right) is CEO and strategic planning head, Redder Advertising.