Cambodia’s population is sharply divided between urban and rural communities, with 80% living in the latter. Rural marketing presents two significant challenges for Unilever:-
i) TV advertising material – typically adapted from regional work crafted for relatively sophisticated urban audiences across East Asia - can and usually does resonate well in Cambodia’s urban centres. But the higher level benefits expressed in such materials are often inaccessibly aspirational for rural audiences, at times even irrelevant or incomprehensible.
ii) The common assumption that by influencing attitude (e.g. via advertising) we can influence usage – and that this is the primary means by which brands are and should be built, is by no means wholly true in rural Indochina. Usage can and often does drive attitude, with product and pack experience forming a huge part of end-users’ perceptions of a brand. The linear approach that one first builds awareness then empathy then trial then repeat then loyalty is not necessarily either efficient or even effective.
Through the development of a rural Fun Fair for Unilever’s 18 brands, we sought to deliver an integrated experience which would simultaneously deliver brand messaging, engagement, trial and purchase; all pulled together in an immediate and locally resonant format.