Short List
CategoryE02. Sponsorship & Brand Partnership
EntrantVMLY&R Mumbai, INDIA
Idea Creation VMLY&R Mumbai, INDIA
Production PLANET FILMS Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA


Name Company Position
Venkatagiri Rao VMLY&R Chief Creative Officer
Kevin Lobo VMLY&R Executive Creative Director
Anil Nair VMLY&R Chief Executive Officer
Alpa Dedhia VMLY&R Business Director
Andreas Christiadi VMLY&R Brand Manager
Eldon Dcruz VMLY&R Brand Manager
Abhinav Galate VMLY&R Brand Co-ordinator
Agnes Getha VMLY&R Business Director
Rajivi Rao VMLY&R Copywriter
Siva Subramaniam VMLY&R Copywriter
Nandan Joshi VMLY&R Copywriter
Mudit Trivedi VMLY&R Brand Co-ordinator
Akshith VS VMLY&R Art Director
Netra Natrajan VMLY&R Copywriter
Saurabh Pal VMLY&R Editor
Amar Sharma VMLY&R Editor
Vijayan Shivan VMLY&R Designer
Siby Mathews VMLY&R Brand Co-ordinator
Muhammad Bahir Planet Films Producer
Zahir Omar Planet Films Director

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

In Indonesia, the chili sauce shelf is crowded where every brand boasts of spiciness - which is a biggest yet most common and hygiene factor for the category. So, every brand, both old and new, tries to outshout the competition with a ‘spiciest sauce’ message. ABC needed an unconventional approach to deliver the message of extreme spiciness. Rather than outshout the competition with our claim, we chose to demonstrate our extreme spiciness with a never-before tasting experience around spiciness, to taunt spice-loving Indonesians into experiencing our spicy sauce first hand, and believing in our spiciness.


Growth for Sambal ABC was stagnating. The category was filled with clichéd narratives that had commoditized the category. Not a good sign for the leader, ABC Sambal. Research showed that many consumers believed that while all advertising talks about unique spicy tastes, in reality all brands taste similar. Brand tracks showed that ‘spiciness’ and the ‘thrill’ it promises were key to unlocking growth and ownership of this attribute was critical. In blind tests, ABC was repeatedly voted the spiciest. But shouting out that we are the spiciest won’t cut it. ABC needed to disrupt the market boldly if it wanted to win the tongues & minds of spice crazy Indonesians. Brief: Get Indonesians notice ABC and realise that ABC delivers spice like no other brand. Objectives: Grow market share. Create trialists. Build Brand Power by strengthening our claim on key attributes of ‘Sambal I like’, ‘Makes me crave for more’.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

The disruptive campaign boldy created a spice experience and message like never before, by creating the Sambal ABC World’s Spiciest Noodles, and ABC Pedasuransi, a special Spice Insurance to protect Indonesians from the spice of our chilli sauce. The policy gave hospitalization cover for a week worth IDR150000 from Spice related aftermath. This campaign taunted spice crazy Indonesians about our spiciness in an unforgettable way.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

ABC was a leader in market share but not in mind & heart share. To win, it was to drive up brand differentiation. Brand health studies by Kantar indicated that to drive differentiation, ABC had to own key attributes like ‘Spiciness I like’ ‘Sambal I like’ over other Sambal brands. A task made complicated by aggressive spends and common spice narratives across competition. Spice crazy Indonesians flirting with younger and newer brands because of their novelty and ‘spicy’ messages had to be convinced that we were the spiciest. Especially since in blind taste tests we were voted the spiciest. We had to prove to them that no sauce is as spicy as Sambal ABC. ABC chose to create a powerful act that demonstrated spiciness and delivered it through a clutter-breaking experience.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

First, we got a notorious Warung Chef from Jakarta, Abang Adek to create the World’s spiciest noodles. Then, to protect people from it, we tied up with the world’s third largest insurance giant, AXA, to create Pedasuransi, a special spice insurance policy to cover people from the spice of our chilly sauce. The policy covered hospitalization for a week, worth IDR 150,000. We launched both, the World’s Spiciest Noodles and the Spice Insurance at UFF, Indonesia’s biggest food festival. ‘Wordless Reviews’ of our noodles on YouTube showed our spice was for real. People came in the tens of thousands. People signed up for the Pedasuransi Spice Insurance. And people got burned. As all of Indonesia watched, our brand struck gold.

List the results (30% of vote)

25000+ trials 55 Million+ views 1.45 Billion impressions 250+ articles in local & international PR PR 5.8 times ROI 100000 policies created. Market share up from 47.2% before launch to 49.8% during campaign run. 410 bps increase in Penetration. 520 bps increase in Brand Power. (Brand power directly impacts sales and is made of three key components: Difference, Meaningfulness, Salience. ABC scored well on each front while making leaps on our differentiation scores.)


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