VinFast is well known in Vietnam as one of the largest and most ambitious parts of the Vingroup – the largest private corporation in Vietnam. It has become the #1 car seller in all of its competing segments within just 21 months of launching in Vietnam and switched to an all-electric product lineup as it expanded into global markets in 2022.
On Thursday, July 14th, VinFast US opened its first (6) Showroom locations in California. These six stores represent the first stores to open globally outside of Vietnam. This moment represented a significant milestone, marking the beginning of the brand’s global rollout of retail stores.
VinFast hosted 6 simultaneous store opening events in LA (Santa Monica), San Diego, Corte Madera, Commerce, San Mateo and Berkeley on Thursday, July 14th from 4 – 8 pm (9 pm in Santa Monica for the main event). LA’s event at Santa Monica Place took the lead, hosting the keynote address and a live band performance – allowing them to draw from the largest pool of media and dignitaries and leveraging the venue’s center court space, which was perfect for their keynote moment and large crowds.
The keynote address was live-streamed to the other 5 store openings, as well as globally for other regions to experience the same big moment and brand messages at the same time.
The events were a critical component of their store’s grand opening plans, but equally important was how they supported the events and opening before, during and after, which included Organic Social, CRM, KOL and a Digital Audio Promotion with iHeart Media to create excitement and attendance among their target audiences.
During the events, they captured content and posted it across social and KOLs, as well as Digital Audio Promotion, driving further interest and participation.
Santa Monica’s Center Court offered a tremendous opportunity to create a large-scale event for massive crowds. A 24’x 20’ stage was built to accommodate the press conference and showcase the VF 8 (VinFast’s first released vehicle in North America). The stage was surrounded by a truss archway along with stage lighting, an LED back wall with VinFast branded content, and truss uprights to highlight the VF 8. From 4 – 4:25 pm, their hosts Giang Nguyen, Executive Director, VinFast, and Craig Westbrook, Chief Service Officer, VinFast took to the stage for the press conference, for the live stream of the “satellite” showroom openings as well as global for other markets to witness this major milestone for the brand.
Upon arrival media and VIP guests were directed to the Centre Court area for the presentation. The area was sectioned off with stanchions for designated seating.
Upon entering, Ambassadors greeted guests and provided them with VinFast branded bottles of Vietnamese cold coffee and sparkling bottled water.
A DJ from iHeart media played music (off stage) while guests arrived. Onscreen, a countdown clock was shown on their 16’ x 10’ LED back wall to generate anticipation.
Once the show began they switched to the camera feed – broadcast shot in a 3-camera setup including stationary long shot, side CU and jib arm.
The show \ began with a video roll of content displayed on the LED back wall introducing the VinFast story.
As the video faded out, music began to play, lights moving as large black easels were moved onto the stage.
Revel – a world-renowned speed painter – came out on stage and went to work creating an original piece of artwork showcasing the VF 8…in 8 minutes. The painting came to life as he painted it upside down, flipping it over in the final reveal to show the one-of-a-kind painting.
Once done, their host (Craig) from VinFast came out to welcome the audience, connecting VinFast to the Revel experience through their “Future of Mobility Has Arrived” messaging.
Visuals and video footage created specifically for this launch event coinciding with speakers appeared on the LED back wall (akin to a TED Talk presentation style).
Giang Nguyen was then introduced and came onto the stage as the background visual changes to the VinFast logo.
Craig along with Giang introduced the VF 8 – smoke appeared from under the car silk, the silk was removed and pyrotechnics of silver jet sprays erupted
Craig and Giang then invited all the lead hosts and showroom teams in all the Satellite locations to conduct a ribbon cutting to illustrate the store opening. (Each store was set up with its ribbon, branded scissors and video screen) – thus opening all six locations at the same moment. Additional pyrotechnics from the uprights along the hedge background behind the vehicle erupted once again along with smoke effects.
Giang Nguyen then introduced Alexa – an international K-Pop artist, who performed a 30-minute set along with customized background visuals on the LED wall. The appearance/festivities were promoted via their iHeart Media partnership and streamed live through their service to further boost awareness for the launch event.
During the live performance, VIPs were in an exclusive area complete with food/beverage, etc.
At 5 pm, following the band’s performance, the VinFast Showroom officially opened to the public. Together with consumers, VIPs/Media and VinFirst Pioneers (first pre-order purchasers) were directed to the Showroom to experience the new space and VF 8, along with light refreshments (Vietnamese inspired) and special guest appearances inside the store by notable iHeart Radio DJ personalities. Photo ops and social content capture took place for their guests to see, creating continuous buzz and excitement.
Music, food and beverage and the showroom experience continued until events wrapped at 8 pm.
Commerce, Corte Madera, Berkeley, San Diego, San Mateo
These events took place inside the showrooms
The setup in the showroom included an 80” video monitor with looped content – which streamed the live feed from the Main Event in Santa Monica.
Each location had a replicated branded ribbon and oversized scissor setup to facilitate the simultaneous store opening moment allowing the hosts to interact with the main event.
At 3:30 pm, VinFast officially opened its showroom doors to consumers. During the event, the Santa Monica executive keynote was live-streamed to the consumer event. Immediately following, VinFast local execs gave some brief remarks welcoming guests and media.
iHeart Radio played music (as part of their partnership)
Canapes, sparkling-infused signature beverages and Vietnamese coffee were served to consumers until events wrapped at 8 pm.
STAGING AND PRESENTATION
The event was set up in the Center Court of Santa Monica Place.
24’ wide stage with an LED back wall and moving lights erected on a truss archway created a dynamic and visually engaging backdrop.
Their VF 8 was set (covered) at the start of the presentation in front of their boxwood logo wall interspersed truss uprights with moving lights. On the far right, their VinFast logo was lit in neon lights which also provided a photo op area for media and consumers.
Kartell ghost chairs were set for VIPs and Media in attendance.
– Full 30×40 area stanchioned off for media VIPs – opened to the public following the event
– Stage 20’x12’ black Ozite carpeting
– Truss archway with LED ambient lighting downstage with full back wall graphic laddering back to event thematic
– Hedge walls to back all the
– Hedge with VF neon logo at the entrance of the VIP seating area
– Podium with teleprompter and comfort monitor for keynote speaker
– Video monitors left and right of the stage for content loops
– Three truss uprights with ambient LED lights behind the vehicle
– Seating for 40+ persons with room for standing behind and around the seating area.
– Media pool for cameras at the back of seating.
Vietnamese coffee – Served to guests during the media event
Passed canape selection:
Edible Flower Fresh Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon)
Vietnamese Meatballs (Xiu Mai)
Paté Mousse Crostini (Banh Mi)
Vietnamese Cream Puffs (Banh Su Kem)
Passed beverage selection:
Thai Basil butterfly pea lemongrass with sparkling ginger-lime mint
*in partnership with a Vietnamese chef
To enhance the branded experience at Santa Monica Place where they hosted the main keynote and festivities, VinFast secured three additional branding opportunities throughout the mall – helping to not only pre-promote the arrival of the VinFast showroom but to also create a fully immersive experience for the opening launch event.
Branded elements included: Centre Plaza Fascia (upper and lower levels); Centre Plaza Circle Barricade Wrap; all backlit signs throughout the mall space.
The creative advertising promoted the theme of the event, highlighting how “The Future of Mobility Has Arrived.” It also helped create an immersive experience for mall patrons and provided a backdrop for the staging and live-stream video content.
PR and SOCIAL PLAN:
Teaser posts of each store opening:
Each post provided new details of events happening, VIP guests, and DJ/Artist Performances (ensuring all appropriate tags were included – i.e. @iheartradio, @alexa_zbofficia, @revelartist).
Facebook Event Posts, where users can RSVP to each location
Key Messaging around consumer events, reservations, and Charged Up Benefits
4x Twitter Posts
4x Instagram + Facebook Stories Posts
2x Instagram in Feed Posts
2x Facebook Posts
6x Facebook Events Created (Santa Monica, + 5 consumer locations)
Guest and Celebrity Arrival – Captured mobile footage of celebrity/KOLs to push out to stories to generate excitement – Instagram Stories
Revel Speed Painting – Instagram Stories
Press Conference – Instagram Stories and Twitter ‘Live Tweeting’ a summary of all key points/announcements made by Ms.Van Anh:
– Celebrating VinFast’s official US launch, marking this important milestone
– Launch of showrooms, the brand’s first outside Vietnam and first in North America
– Highlight recent announcements at CES and NYIAS, and today is the next step in the brand’s evolution
– Review the battery subscription model
– Showcase VF 8 & VF 9 models
– Integrated keynote that will weave in features of the VinFast Voice Assistant in relevant moments of the speech
Showroom Exterior post to kick-off, or announce the Event officially across our channels – In Feed
Ribbon Cutting – In Feed
Alexa performance – 1 Instagram story.
Guest Interactions with VF 8 and VF 9 Vehicles – Instagram Stories + In Feed – captions will also tie in, or emphasize reservations and our Charged Up Program.
Guest + VinFirst Pioneer Interviews (Instagram Reel + Stories Series) – 4 to 5 quick interviews asking guests about their first impressions of the VF 8 and VF 9, and what about VinFast excites them the most.
Crowd/Full Venue shots
DJs (minimal coverage) – Instagram stories video.
7x Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter in Feed
– Showroom Exterior – event kick-off + Grand Opening announcement
– Ribbon Cutting
– Guest Interactions with VF 8 and VF 9 Vehicles
– Crowd/Full Venue shots
– Vehicle Glam Shot – event wrap post
16-20x Instagram/Facebook Stories
10x-15x Tweets – event kick-off, press conference coverage, Artist + IHeartRadio @mentions, Live event updates.
Repost any valuable UGC (consumer) content happening during the event or celebrity VIP/ other Influencer @mentions as they happen to our stories.