For over 20 years, advertising in the construction materials industry had grown monotonous, with a repetitive focus on towering concrete structures. Rarely did a cement advertisement not feature imposing buildings shot from below. However, INSEE recently turned this convention on its head, creating a buzz with a campaign that showcased something entirely different – walls made of cement. This unconventional approach, featuring sensual curves instead of concrete behemoths, garnered over 4 million views on YouTube and Facebook, along with a unique and successful Below-the-Line (BTL) campaign.
Before delving into how a campaign for an industrial product could create such an intriguing association, it's essential to understand some critical information about the market, brand, and the product itself:
The construction materials market in Southern Vietnam, particularly the cement sector, is highly competitive, with over 20 well-established cement brands. However, product diversity is limited, primarily comprising general-purpose cement used for both concrete pouring and bricklaying. Launching a specialized cement product and changing user habits in such a mature market presented significant challenges.
INSEE, formerly known as Holcim, was a well-known and top-of-mind cement brand with a strong presence in Southern Vietnam for over 20 years.
In early 2017, INSEE introduced a new type of cement specifically designed for bricklaying – INSEE Wall Pro. With a new formula that enhanced moisture retention and lubrication properties, INSEE Wall Pro minimized cracking, a common issue exacerbated by Vietnam's hot and windy climate. It also resulted in smoother wall surfaces.
Launching both a brand transformation and encouraging changes in consumer behavior simultaneously presented substantial challenges.
This campaign aimed to achieve two major goals: Awareness and Experience.
Awareness Goal: Increase awareness of the INSEE Wall Pro brand and generate word-of-mouth among construction contractors by using an impressive and high-frequency approach across various media channels.
Experience Goal: Encourage product trial and user experience of INSEE Wall Pro.
INSEE Wall Pro's target audience consisted mainly of construction contractors, predominantly males aged 30 to 50, located in the Southern region of Vietnam. These individuals actively shared information within their professional community, often during social gatherings, making intriguing and unconventional content highly shareable within the construction community.
Construction contractors, especially in the cement industry, have a high level of interaction and involvement with the product. To gain their trust in a cement product's ability to create smooth and crack-resistant walls, they often need to engage in hands-on activities like mixing and applying the cement themselves. This behavior influenced the campaign's concept and communication strategy.
Despite being perceived as straightforward and tough due to their job nature, these contractors are inherently sensitive to soft and gender-appealing elements, a common trait among men. Therefore, the campaign needed to tap into both their specific needs and natural masculine interests to capture their attention effectively.
Understanding customer behavior and thinking led to a breakthrough strategy. Rather than repeating the familiar imagery of concrete buildings, which mainly conveyed a functional message, the campaign decided to use a sensuous and emotional image – one that would provoke discussions about gender appeal, attracting both the specific target audience and a broader male demographic.
As a result, INSEE decided to apply a Sex Appeal strategy by featuring an alluring image, encouraging tactile interaction, and drawing a parallel between the smoothness of the cement walls and the softness of a woman's skin. This unique approach was designed to be persuasive, natural, and intriguing.
From the concept of Sensual Appeal, the "The Beauty Under Your Fingertip" idea emerged – highlighting the beauty of walls that can be felt through touch. INSEE Wall Pro promised walls as smooth and captivating as a woman's skin, enticing everyone to "touch endlessly."
From this idea, the campaign "Touch Me – Wall Pro Angels" was born, featuring sensual Wall Pro angels that piqued curiosity and prompted users to experience the product themselves.
The integrated communication campaign "Touch Me – Wall Pro Angels" was executed through two primary channels: Above-the-Line (ATL) and Below-the-Line (BTL) activities.
Viral Clip: A viral video titled "Touch and Feel" garnered 2.69 million views on YouTube and 1.58 million views on INSEE Cement's Facebook page. It achieved a remarkable Lift in Product Interest score of 718.7%. This phase significantly increased Total Brand Awareness, reaching 41% (Nielsen, 2017).
Website: The campaign's microsite saw a 1500% increase in traffic during the campaign period, with nearly 1,000 participants in the interactive online game and almost 300 registrations for product trials.
Activation: This crucial channel involved direct interaction, product trial, and stimulating demand. Over nearly two months, around 2,500 contractors and retailers in six provinces participated in Activation and Roadshow events. These events aimed to create engagement, boost brand recognition, and encourage product trial.
Event: The "Wall Pro Angels Invasion" events, spanning 19 provinces in the Southern region, targeted both retailers and contractors. By allowing both groups to experience the product's benefits, the campaign aimed to increase sales. These events successfully achieved interaction, brand awareness, and product trial goals, contributing significantly to campaign success.
Through its innovative approach, the campaign transformed a conventional and unfeeling image into one filled with soft curves and sensuality. The response from the community to INSEE's provocative ad was largely positive. Most viewers expressed surprise and appreciation for the brand's creativity.
The campaign achieved impressive results throughout its various phases:
Teaser Phase: The "Touch and Feel" Viral Clip garnered 2.69 million views on YouTube, with a Lift in Product Interest of 718.7%. It also received 1.58 million views on INSEE Cement's Facebook page. After the campaign, Total Brand Awareness for the new product reached 41% (Nielsen, 2017).
Information Gathering Phase: Website traffic for the product microsite increased by 1500%, with nearly 1,000 participants in the interactive game and almost 300 registrations for product trials.
Product Trial Phase: An impressive 15,400 tons of INSEE Wall Pro were ordered by retailers and construction contractors in key markets.
The most remarkable achievement was a monthly sales increase of 168% compared to pre-campaign levels. This success demonstrates the comprehensive success of the campaign.
In conclusion, the use of sensuous advertising in the cement industry, as demonstrated by "Touch Me – Wall Pro Angels," challenged the norms and opened doors to unconventional advertising in the construction materials sector in Vietnam.