The original idea of turning shoes into floatation devices has made two RMIT Vietnam students the season 5 champions of the television program Young Marketers.
On the show, Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) students Doan Thai Minh Chau and Nguyen Hoang Hieu An tackled the issue of Vietnamese youth inactivity and created an outstanding marketing plan for branded sports shoe Biti’s Hunter – Move.
To make the final round, the pair successfully utilised a hypothetical 3-billion VND budget to raise awareness amongst their target market of approximately 3 million youth in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. They were then asked to present their full campaign to the judges in the final round.
Last to present, the pair was judged to have the most “wow” factor, according to the audience and importantly, the judging panel, which included the likes of Ms Pham Nha Uyen, Regional Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola Indochina, and Ms Cao Hue Chi, Head of Strategic Planning & Insights at British American Tobacco.
The students’ most impactful statistic spoke for itself: every summer 3000 Vietnamese children drown, with a disproportionate number occurring in rural areas.
The pair then presented their innovation–children’s shoes which can turn into floatation devices.
In the case of an emergency, the product design included the ability for children to pull their shoe straps and set off a simple chemical reaction, injecting air into the strap and turning their shoes into a mini-float.
They were able to demonstrate their idea by executing a real chemical reaction on stage.
The pair said: “We believe that this innovation will draw attention to the issue of drowning deaths in Vietnam and go viral in our community. This not only enhances but also upgrades Biti’s brand position.”
Ms Cao Hue Chi questioned the pair on the production cost of their floating shoes, to which Chau and An responded without hesitation: “The chemical reaction only requires a combination of cheap substances like vinegar and baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate.”
The outstanding performance of the team impressed Ms Pham Nha Uyen.
“This team is the only group that produced a product innovation for real social benefit,” she said.
“I can see the great effort the team put into their slides and designs, and the real chemical reaction added to an overall very attractive presentation.”
Talking about their win, Chau was looking forward to the opportunities it would lead to.
“Young Marketers is a door that leads to many other doors,” she said.
“It's not only an opportunity to get further exposure to professional marketing, but also a chance to make more friends.
“The journey is not easy, but it’s worth the effort.”
For An, the competition was about learning lessons in marketing.
“After two-and-a-half months spent in the competition, I have learnt numerous practical marketing lessons from senior marketers,” he said.
“Young Marketers is a great springboard for marketing lovers at RMIT Vietnam.”
As champions of Young Marketers Season 5, Chau and An won tickets to the Asia Marketing Effectiveness & Strategy Conference in Singapore in May 2017, a company visit to Google in Singapore, and various other valuable prizes.
Story: Van Doan