Media and advertising companies overcome adversity amid the pandemic

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2021 08:15

Viet Nam Expo is hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and has been organised annually by the Viet Nam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (Vinexad). — Photo courtesy of Vinexad

As summer approaches, normally we would see final preparations being made for numerous festivals and outdoor events.

But due to the fourth wave of COVID-19 hitting the country, many if not all scheduled shows have been cancelled or put on hold.

This has caused a major headache for media and advertising agencies nationwide who are seeing a huge dent in revenue due to the pandemic.

Almost all companies have been affected, and many have been forced to diversify their operations to stay afloat.

Dau Anh Tuan, director of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (VCCI) legal department, said the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted a number of sectors including media and advertising.

More than 96 per cent of these companies of this sector are feeling the pinch.

Tran Thu Huong, the CEO of Viet Event Company, told Viet Nam News: “Amid the pandemic, not only our company but also other advertising companies are suffering losses.

“Most of the companies had no revenue because they cannot conduct events as before.”

Many summer festivals that her company planned to organise have all been cancelled. Even outdoor branding activities are also limited, has a serious effect on the long-term advertising operations of many businesses.

She added: “Our company has organised many activities called “big activation” such as beer festivals or beach festivals. However, we had to postpone all those activities in 2021.

“Outdoor programmes for local brand promotions around walking streets in Ha Noi and HCM City have also been stopped.

“This year, the pandemic forces us to stop organising all outdoor activities and businesses face hard times to approach consumers.”

Her company also works on producing variety shows, but the working conditions under strict social distancing makes planning difficult.

Bui Van Toan, the company’s variety show producer, said it is almost impossible to plan ahead because of the unpredictability of the pandemic.

“The variety shows are required to be on air on schedule,” Toan said.

“But at this time, when the pandemic happens to be so unpredictable, it is hard for us to go out and produce one episode.”

Trade exhibitions are a popular way for businesses to advertise their brands. The scale of exhibitions held by Vinexad (Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company) was expanding 20 per cent year-on-year before the pandemic.

But in these tough times, they must think of other ways to raise brand awareness.

Nguyen Hong Nhung, deputy general manager of Vinexad, said: “As our two main business sectors are advertisement and trade promotion through trade fairs and exhibitions, Vinexad’s planned fairs and exhibitions has been impacted severely by COVID-19 since the beginning of last year.

“Since the beginning of 2020, most of the trade fairs in Viet Nam have been cancelled or postponed, causing difficulties for the company and service providers.

“Up to now, the exhibition industry in Viet Nam is facing many difficulties as the big cities are implementing social distancing or suspending mass gatherings,” Nhung added.

It’s time to adapt

Strategy revaluation is needed for companies in the sector. Enterprises still have to find solutions for both their businesses and their partners.

The small-scale event has now become a lifebuoy for brands to popularise their products.

Huong said: “We come up with a solution called ‘event activation’.

“We will have set up Point of Sale in the cities and introduce products to a small group of two to three clients to ensure social distancing and ask them to try products on the spot.

“Clients can try our products so we can do push sales on the spot and help them decide to buy products right after that.

“By doing so, the company has helped brands to have advertising solutions that match their criteria and save costs.”

To minimise the difficulties when producing reality shows outdoors, smaller talk shows are better options. This type of programme is not new but it meets the advertising requirements when people stay at home more and spend more time watching television.

Viet Event Company chooses talk shows as a new advertising solution as people stay at home more and spend more time watching television. — Photo courtesy of Viet Event Company

Huong said: “We decided to focus more on talk shows about health problems, which are aired on national channels such as VTV, THVL.

“We have received attention from partners, brands, and audiences as we brought up the topical subjects such as ways to stay healthy during the pandemic, methods to maintain a good health and strengthen resistance.

“This solution fits well with the strategy of pharmaceutical companies.”

VINEXAD also has a strong transformation in holding exhibitions in order to meet the needs of businesses.

Nhung added: “To cope with the current situation, and continue enhancing the role of connection and promotion for enterprises, VINEXAD has developed exhibitions by combining regular and online booths.

“The online booths that were conducted at the Viet Nam Expo 2020 in HCM City in December last year and Viet Nam Expo 2021 in Ha Noi in April, exceeded our expectations.

“Apart from shifting traditional trade fairs online since the beginning of the pandemic, we have also conducted numerous online business matching events between local companies and foreign firms from South Korea, Thailand, mainland China, Russia, Taiwan, and Turkey.”

While the media and advertising sector has been severely affected by the pandemic, many companies have made an effort to promptly apply appropriate solutions and initially receive positive signs. — VNS

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