WOW Holiday: Virtual WOW Marathon Hoi An — Stay Strong VietNam


Campaign Summary

WOW Holiday created a virtual marathon to raise awareness of its travel agency services among Vietnamese runners.


Objective and Context:

WOW Holiday is a travel agency focusing on top tier services that provide clients with a "wow-experience." People travel to experience something new and surprise their own selves. The company created the WOW Marathon in Hoi An to generate brand awareness and to increase revenue of tour packages in Nam Hoi An.

Aligned with that strategy, "WOW Marathon" was also created to engage the runner community in Vietnam, since research indicated a rise in racing in the country over the past three years. The company created an all-in-one package that would appeal to runners: a race to run, a gorgeous place to stay, a flight to get there, and an inland tour for runners and their families to enjoy after the run. WOW HOLIDAY built a new concept of "running holidays" - a worry-free product line include all-in-one services for any runners going anywhere in Vietnam to run. WOW Marathon Hoi An would be the first run the company would host to engage the runner community. The run was supposed to be launched on August 8th, but the third wave of COVID-19 returned weeks before the run. In response, the company immediately transformed the physical run into a virtual marathon in just four days. The main KPI was bibs sold.

Target Audience:

The campaign focused mainly on runners, but it segmented them into three groups: the professional, the amateur, and the newbie. The targets' ages ranged from 25 to 40. They tended to be open-minded, a little tech-savvy, and were living a healthy, modern lifestyle.

Creative Strategy:

"Run for You," "Run for Da Nang," and "Run for Vietnam" were the main creative themes for the campaign. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, WOW Holiday moved to make a donation to the Fighting COVID-19 fund of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front for each kilometer that WOW runners finished.

The company leveraged online news channels with a mass, business-orientated audience, since the majority of C-level officials are runners. It leveraged PR to promote the marathon trend in general as well as the Virtual WOW Marathon Hoi An specifically. For display ads and performance purposes, WOW Holiday identified keywords, interests, places, and ages to inform the creation of ads to run across Google and Facebook and location-based local display networks including Admicro.


Overall Campaign Execution:

In order for the virtual run to reach as many people as possible, WOW Holiday worked with two professional virtual tournament organizers in Vietnam with the largest community of runners: and 84Race. This allowed WOW to access the Vietnamese running community directly.

Through its integration with iRace and 84Race, participants could register for the WOW Marathon and automatically have an account on the two racing platforms.

The system automatically connects with Strava software, the most famous tracking software in the world, making it easy to participate in the run and record the athletes' achievements. Almost 100 percent of the communication plan was allocated to online media, with 60 percent allocated to mobile.

Mobile Execution:

Mobile apps Strava, iRace, and 84race were essential to the success of the campaign. Display ads were mainly allocated on mobile where context-based content aligned with keywords such as health, run, Nam Hoi An, marathon, and lifestyle. Mobile generated more leads than desktop-based ads, so the company gradually switched the budget allocation to mobile. Landing pages were tested and optimized to make it easy for users to register.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

After four weeks of communication, the WOW Marathon campaign achieved:

  • 8,345 athletes registered
  • 63,771 kilometers run by participating athletes
  • Nearly two million hits and 247,000 interactions on social networks
  • More than 30 articles in online newspapers

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Social Impact/Not For Profit | Awards: X Finalist