Surf: Surf’s Up!

Campaign Summary

Detergent brand Surf wanted to stand out in a cluttered market with its Vietnamese customers. It created a new detergent scent and used geo-targeting to spread the message to rural Vietnamese housewives. Customers were prompted to play an immersive mobile game and were invited to local activations promoting Surf’s latest detergent scent. Surf’s brand message was delivered to more than four million people.


Objective and Context:

Surf, a Unilever brand, operates in a low-price segment in the fabric cleaning category in Vietnam. The segment is highly cluttered and competitive, with many brands gaining share through low pricing and below-the-line tactical promotion. In addition, consumers in the segment are price-sensitive and lack loyalty to any particular brand. Over past few years, Surf’s sales had been declining. Surf launched a disruptive perfume variant to win back consumers.

Target Audience:

Surf targeted rural housewives in Vietnam.

Creative Strategy:

The media landscape in rural Vietnam was changing rapidly with the growth of internet usage through mobile devices. Surf leveraged geo-targeting to send targeted messages to customers. The customers were prompted to play an interactive mobile game and then received a code to experiential events promoting Surf’s new detergent.


Overall Campaign Execution:

To support its 53 on-ground activations in markets across Vietnam, Surf mapped out the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of each location. It then sent a message to consumers within a 500-meter radius, prompting them to play the Surf fragrance game. After playing the game, consumers were invited to join local activations. To the target audience living beyond the 500-meter radius, Surf sent a message encouraging consumers to play the Surf fragrance game and get a chance to win free talk time. By reaching consumers outside of the activation sites, Surf maximized exposure and ensured that awareness was not only regulated to within activation sites.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Surf’s brand message was delivered to more than four million people in its priority market. On an average, each consumer was exposed to two messages from the brand. More than 70,000 consumers were eligible to win mobile top-ups and close to 232,000 were asked to join Surf’s experiential activations.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Location-Based Services or Targeting | Awards: Finalist