Brandmaker Profile features the people and their work on both the creative and the business side of branding in Asia.
Name: Hùng Võ
Title: CEO/ Head of Strategic Planning
Current location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
School: University of Social Sciences & Humanities, HCMC, Vietnam
First job out of school? Assistant Project Manager at a Brand Activation agency
Current employer: REDDER Advertising
First project in your field: National Relaunch of Unilever’s P/S – The no.1 toothpaste brand in Vietnam
Most recent project: Mirinda Laughing Can Activation, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam
Awards and accolades: A Bronze in Print, Cannes Lions; A Gold for Best Use of Social APAC – PRWeek Asia Awards, two Silver Awards for Best Brand Development Campaign of The Year APAC & Southeast Asia PR Campaign of The Year – PRWeek Asia
Website you visit most: www.brandsvietnam.com
Book everyone must read: The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
Your obituary in 25 words or less: “Hùng Võ thought he was a great singer, but no one else did. He will be missed, but his singing, will not.”
Looking over the work of Hung Vo, founder and CEO of Ho Chi Minh-based Redder Advertising, one can’t help but be impressed.
Though launched only three short years ago, Vo and the Redder team have seen some of the world’s most recognizable brands walk through their doors and onto the drawing boards; including Microsoft, Shell, Samsung, Unilever, Mondelez International, PepsiCo and British American Tobacco.
Redder is one of an increasing number of Vietnam creative agencies helping brands both old and new, based both inside and outside of Vietnam, navigate the country’s rapidly evolving consumer landscape.
As the boom continues to blossom in this country of 90 million, so along with it does the sophistication with which businesses must position themselves in the minds of an increasingly discriminating marketplace.
The Redder Advertising firm has shown itself especially skilled at creating viral video content.
This year the firm ferried two brands –one international and the other domestic– into the viral atmosphere with campaigns tied to the Vietnamese New Year celebration known as Tết,
The first, a viral clip for global giant Mondelez International’s Oreo brand, which clocked over 2.2 million views on YouTube, 78,000 Facebook shares and over 300,000 online interactions. All of which helped in an impressive 13% rise in sales over the year before.
Another was a set of viral clips for domestic coffee brand Vinacafé called, the “Cup of Love”.
The two video spots racked up just over 5 million views and six-thousand likes on YouTube, while generating 200 media articles and over 2 million Facebook interactions.
Happy New Year, indeed –for both brands.
Beyond the business successes, Hung Vo believes in carrying that knowledge into the classroom. In 2013, he started Young Marketers, a Ho Chi Minh-based education group that gives the next generation of marketers access to some of Vietnam’s top marketing minds.
“To me, he has been the best coach ever,” said Tram Nguyen, now a Marketing Executive at Suntory PepsiCo.
“I appreciate his efforts to always find out and understand our values and spend time listening to us.”
In an interview given earlier this year, Vo’s assessment of the rapidly transforming consumer landscape in Vietnam makes the existence of groups like Young Marketers all the more essential.
“The biggest challenge we face is the need to be more digital, to develop real engagement, to be more content-driven and to prove the role and impact of PR on the brand and the business,” he says.
“Consumers are tired of commercials. This means PR can now move towards a combination of the online and the traditional, creating measurable engagement and conversion.”
Hung Vo recently spoke with Branding in Asia from the Redder offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
What kind of brief or project do you enjoy working on most? Why?
Marketing & advertising became my true passion when I found out that its beauty lies in the power of influencing people, changing people’s mindset and changing their behavior for something better. I love to work with projects that are launched not just for commercial purposes, but also aimed at changing the world in a positive way. You could say I look at my work as marketing with larger purpose.
What is your “dream client” to work with? What about your “nightmare client?”
Working in the industry for more than nine years, I have come across all kinds of clients and each has their own beauty and their “problems” for an agency. (laughs)
Actually though, I have no concept of a nightmare client. I believe the role of a good agency is to partner with its clients, appreciating their inspiration and managing any conflicts between us for the benefit of the great work we can create together, instead of blaming them.
As for my dream clients, those are certainly the ones who give an inspiring brief, that is a brief that is clear, single-minded, and really addressing a change. Especially clients that are looking for a disruptive idea and unique approach.
Are there any new styles or trends in branding in Vietnam that you’re excited about?
The significant rise of digital marketing, social marketing and marketing with a worthy cause are some trends here that really excite me. Also, the market in Vietnam for advertising has changed a lot which means there’s a huge amount of potential moving ahead in the future.
“I HAVE NO CONCEPT OF A NIGHTMARE CLIENT – AS I BELIEVE THE ROLE OF A GOOD AGENCY IS TO PARTNER WITH ITS CLIENTS, APPRECIATING THEIR INSPIRATIONS AND MANAGING THE CONFLICTS BETWEEN US FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GREAT WORK WE CAN CREATE TOGETHER”
You can spend a day with anyone in your field. Who, why and where?
The first person that comes to mind is Nguyen Dinh Toan, the Head of Marketing at Masan Beverage. He’s definitely one of those kinds of marketers who challenges and inspires me to do great work.
More importantly, he has also given great support to our social project Young Marketers, a platform to empower the next marketing generation in Vietnam. He’s passionate and a really a good-hearted person. As for where I would want to spend time with him? Maybe at his office to know more about him at work.
What is a productivity tool you simply can’t live without?
My iPhone. I use the phone every day for checking emails, capturing inspirational moments, searching for stuff. It’s also great for noting ideas and sharing with friends or colleagues. It’s also a lot of fun.
Client: Vinacafé Coffee/Masan Consumer (2015)
Name: Vinacafé Cup of love
Project Type:Integrated Campaign, PR Led
Brief: “Awarded the Southeast Asia Campaign of the Year by PRWeek Magazine Asia, Hung Vo and the Redder team put together a campaign to establish Vinacafe in the minds of Vietnamese as the coffee brand for gift-giving during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year celebration. The campaign was focused on urban youth aged 16-25 who were active on social networks, who had trouble openly expressing love to their parents.”
YouTube Views: 8,000,000+
Viral Clip that opened the campaign
The TV spot
Client: Nam Ngu Fish Sauce/Masan Food (2015)
Name: The Best Meal in the World
Project type: PR Campaign
Brief: A touching film that looks at the hard work mothers perform in the service of their children and their education. “She can not help you pass the exam. The only thing she can do is cook you a delicious meals with a mother’s heart. It was the most delicious meal ever.”
YouTube Views: 2,431,929
Client: Microsoft Mobile Devices Vietnam (2015)
Name: You Only Live Once
Project type: Integrated Campaign
YouTube Views: 1,871,215
Client: Mirinda (2015)
Name: Mirinda Laughing Can
Project type: Integrated Campaign
YouTube Views: 1,084,987
You can see more of Hung Vo’s work on the web at: www.redder.vn
Photos provided by Hùng Võ