Promotional Tools

The promotion that I have located is a promotional campaign from PepsiCo Vietnam for its new snack product Poca Twisties, which is also known as Twisties in other Asian market like Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand (this is an equivalent to PepsiCo’s Fritos/ Doritos for the Asian market). Beside using traditional promotion methods ad like print ads or broadcast ads (which will still be used after this specific campaign is over), the main content of this campaign is heavily emphasized on social media platforms, specifically YouTube and Facebook, which is also what I will focus on. This content is designed, proposed and operated by a local marketing agency instead of in-house department, which is a common practice for big organization. Since the method being used in the campaign is rather new, uncommon and is intended to work specifically for Vietnam market, I will describe the campaign (along with background information) so that it is easier to understand what the campaign is and why the company choose to do this, as well as to answer the discussion question (also because it’s impossible to find and understand what the campaign is about if you don’t speak the language) Background information:

Facebook is currently the most popular social network platform in Vietnam, with over 20 million users over the population of 90 million. YouTube, while not having any details data, also seen improving in term of users and user engagement. This is contributed by 2 factors: 1- Internet connection quality in the country (especially in large cities) as a whole is rapidly improving and 2- the amount of Vietnamese user generated content has also increased, under forms of music videos, short films, comedy sketches and vlogs. The most popular one is vlog, which started during late 2011 and has been growing very fast since then. Unlike other types of entertainment like music or movies, or even other type of video contents on YouTube where it takes a long time for a new content to be released and is usually not scheduled, vloggers release new contents with a rather consistent schedule (usually every 2 weeks), making it somewhat similar to episodic comedy shows on TV. Therefore, they are able to generate a large number of views and viewers, and popular vloggers and their videos are very well known among young Internet users. Each vlogger has a Facebook fan page, where they inform viewers/followers/ fans of new videos (since people doesn’t log into YouTube as much as Facebook) and interact with them through posting status, photos and making comments, pretty much similar to other types of celebrities like singers or actors and such. What makes these video makers so well-known to Vietnamese young people (at least on the Internet) is because they talk about things that young people care about and want to hear, while being entertaining and down to Earth, and therefore their viewers and fans are very loyal and easy to be influenced by them. Campaign:

Knowing the popularity, as well as the reach potential of popular vloggers, the marketing agency created a campaign to promote the product through the channels of 6 vloggers, with the least popular having 22,000 subscribers, 15,000 Facebook fans, with each video number of views (for the first week of publishing) range between 50,000 to 200,000 views, and the most popular having 1 million subscribers and 800 thousand Facebook fans, with each videos number of views range between 300,000 – over 1 million views. They are paid under contract to participate in the campaign by making video on YouTube and sharing the content of their Facebook fanpages, which is what they do normally.

The main content of the campaign is under a video making contest, in which 4 contestants make videos respond to given (common and lighthearted) topics (there are 3 –one topic every 2 weeks), and after each round the one with the lowest score will be disqualified. Score is determined through the number of views of the video on YouTube, as well as the number of Likes and Shares of the video on each contestant’s fanpage. 4 least popular vloggers will participate as contestant, and the 2 most popular are contracted to collaborate to make videos that recap and comment on what happen during the previous week, so that the results is not too predictable and thus lose interests from fans. Content-wise, the contract require each vlogger to 1) make an announcement video to acknowledge their viewers that they will participate in the contest, in which they mention that the contest is organized by Poca Twisties (along with visual display of the product if possible) and 2) include at the beginning and at the end of the video 2 15-seconds clips of message from Poca Twisties (which served as topic introduction and closure but the product image, logo and color palette and advertising intention is very visible).

Each video will then be shared on the Facebook fanpage of the contest, which besides making posts that update statistics from the contest(which is the main attraction user interaction (likes, shares and comments) on the page) will occasionally have posts that are just promoting the product itself. Beside the video contest, the campaign also included a weekly promotion poster design for fans/ viewers, which is interacted through the website of the contest. The results of said contests are also posted on the contest Facebook fanpage. This campaign run from July 7th , 2013 to August 18th,2013.

1. This promotion campaign is a mix between Advertising and Sales promotion. * It fits with Advertising because the company pays the talents to 1) refer to the product (visually and/or orally) in the announcement videos and 2) display the product images at the beginning and at the end of their contest videos. Also, besides updating the most recent statistic of the contest, the admin of the Facebook fan page makes a post refers to the product, under image or written form about twice a week, which is very much direct advertising. * It fits with Sales promotion because this specific campaign is employed for a pre-determined, limited time, for the purpose of introduce and creating demand for the new product.

2. I find this promotional campaign interesting because of the following reasons: * It’s something that I have not seen before: I don’t know if similar campaign have been utilized anywhere else in world, but this is the first time it has been used in Vietnam. This shows that not only the agency knows that it’s more effective to reach young people via the Internet rather through traditional media like TV or prints, they also know how to reach a large number of customers and what way will be the most effective. * The agency doesn’t even have to generate the content themselves: The majority of the contents that the target audience actually care about and interact with are made by the talents; the agency only has to find the talent, create the initial contents and maintain engagement, which is not half as much work as other types of campaign. *

It encourages interaction: there are constant user interactions from people commenting, liking and sharing the videos (in order to help their favorite vlogger advance to the next round), as well as from the promotional poster design mini contest. This helps spread the information about the contest (as well as the promotional message) among Facebook virally without much efforts. * It’s not too intrusive: while every viewers can clearly tell that the contest is to promote Poca Twisties, the fact that they are still provided with quality content from their favorite vlogger AND seeing them being in a contest with each other make them feel less negative about the commercial side of the event.

3. The central theme of the promotion is to introduce Poca Twisties as a product that vlog viewers will enjoy while watching their favorite vloggers. It also creates a good impression for the product, and with the constant reminding of the product in every video and related activities, it also help strengthen that impression as well.

4. The intended target market for the promotion, according to the method of promotion, the choice of talents and the nature of the product, is young people from 13 to 25 years old, national wide. Since the majority of young people are Internet users, using an Internet based campaign is appropriated.

5. I think the objective of the marketers is to increase awareness and demand for the product, and this is done by having as much people know about its existence as possible. Consider the reach potential of the talents, I think this is not too difficult to achieve.

6. As of now, the Facebook fanpage of the contest has 135,000 fans, the total views of the published videos for the contest (currently 15 videos for 2 rounds – 1 month) reached about 2 million views, and each video being posted on the contest fanpage and each vlogger’s fanpage has an average about 2500 likes and 700 shares per video. I think this is very impressive for creating awareness, especially when we consider that every like and share on Facebook by itself generate a large number of viewers who will see the activity on their new feeds, which contribute to the viral effect for the campaign. I’m not so sure about creating demands objectives, but consider how the product is a low involvement product, it’s easy to generate demand after creating awareness.