Product / ServiceCOFFEE
CategoryA02. Non-Fiction: series or film
EntrantPUBLICIS Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM
Entrant Company PUBLICIS Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM
Contributing Company PUBLICIS Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM
Production Company BHD Ho Chi Minh, VIETNAM


Name Company Position
Thien Thanh Nguyen Publicis Vietnam General Manager
Siddharth Malhotra Publicis Vietnam Client Services Director
Paul Young Publicis Vietnam Executive Creative Director
Alex Rea Publicis Vietnam Creative Director
Theodor Sandu Publicis Vietnam Creative Director
Steven Moreau Publicis Vietnam Art Director
Le Nguyen Publicis Vietnam Copywriter
Chau Hieu Hoa Publicis Vietnam Jr. Copywriter
Ankur Malik Publicis Vietnam Account Director
Tina Do Publicis Vietnam Sr. Account Executive
Dilip Garga Publicis Vietnam Planning Director
Jerome Puget Nestle Vietnam Business Director – Dairy & Beverages
Lê Thị Hoàng Yến Nestle Vietnam Communication and Marketing Support Director
Khổng Thị Hương Giang Nestle Vietnam Group Brand Manager – NESCAFÉ
Karim Choueiri Nestle Vietnam Senior Brand Manager – NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIỆT
Phạm Ngọc Bảo Châu Nestle Vietnam Junior Brand Manager - NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIỆT
Deboo Mohanty Vivaki, Vietnam Chief Executive Officer
Dibendu Moulick Zenith Optimedia, Vietnam Planning Director
Bich Uyen Nguyen Vivaki Exchange, Vietnam Investment Director
Etienne Ricco Performics, Vietnam Head of Digital

The Campaign

Media in Vietnam comes with its own set of restrictions. The government controls over 70% of all TV channels and holds a strict control over the content that is eventually aired on television. Nearly all brand material has to go through a round of approvals from government bodies before being aired on TV. However, on this instance, the real challenge was with the client. While all the existing media diktats still applied, the challenge was to get the client to approach branded content from a different perspective. Traditionally, brands saw it fit to leverage the most popular content on television and brand that chosen content with sponsorship, product placement and in-show branding. In a first time ever, we convinced NESCAFÉ to go an extra step and create its own content for television. We had to show NESCAFÉ the value in creating its own content versus leveraging other content. We shifted the competition and wanted to stand out amongst all other entertainment on TV. Now the impetus wasn’t only on branding elements but on the overall quality of content that we proposed to air as entertainment.


In Vietnam, men take their machismo seriously and would not let up a single chance to prove that they are the ‘man among men’. NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIET, the unmistakably strong coffee and the unquestionable authority on male brands in Vietnam, saw a chance to settle this conversation. Although the brand was well established, we never really had a character that could embody the brands attributes and be the face of machismo in Vietnam. And we soon realized that only someone who could prove his worth could be our ‘strong man’. None of the existing content reflected our objective entirely. So with the core attributes of daring, witty and confident in place, we set out to find our strong man through a 10-episode challenge and elimination filled reality TV show. And thus NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIET - PHAI MANH VIET was born. The challenges came in many forms. Conceptualizing the content of the show was a multi-team exercise with the clients, media, broadcasting channel and us. The content itself had to tread the fine line of being branded while never losing its entertainment value. In terms of logistics and execution, the entire system was re-arranged to suit the creation of a TV show. The content was also born out of the product. Harvesting and roasting coffee, carrying coffee over distances, etc. integrated the product in the show while still maintaining the aesthetics of an entertainment show. By airing the show at 8 pm on one of the popular entertainment channels, we gave the consumers and the brand a fair chance to gauge as to who their strong man was.

To draw in the audience for this classic debate among Vietnamese men, NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIET created multiple pull points. On social media, the brand started with posting messages about auditions for the show and invited men from all over Vietnam to get involved. When the show was close to being launched, we aired show-promos on our social media page as well as on the HTV, where the show would be aired. We also created close to 1 million special packs that promoted the show as a part of our strategy to drive the content.

In its debut season, PHAI MANH VIET finished with a rating higher than heavily invested and long-standing popular properties like Vietnam Idol, The Voice, etc. While other brands were vying for a branded portion of TV, NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIET created its own portal of entertainment and advertising. Return on overall investment – 170% Brand health measures, from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015: ‘Stimulates body and mind’ scores went up by 8 points on the index (16%) ‘Real coffee experience for men’ went up by 8 points (16%) Brand awareness and purchase interest went up 5 points on the index (10%)

While over the past few years NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIET had created several TV advertisements, this was the first instance where the brand created a TV show that was aired as entertainment. Unlike other brands that leveraged existing popular content and sponsored entertainment, NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIET-PHAI MANH VIET (BE THE MAN) was a 10-episode TV series conceptualized and created entirely by the teams working on the NESCAFÉ CAFÉ VIET brand. Apart from the show name being symbiotic with the brand name, the content created for the show also leveraged several key brand attributes. Coffee was also a prominent part of the content. Also, the ultimate winner of the show was someone who embodied the spirit of the brand and could become the face of the brand.