E-bike puts ads on plug sockets to highlight charging convenience 

Vietnamese e-bike manufacturer turns electrical outlets into charging stations to persuade sceptics to go electric

In September 2023, Vietnamese e-motorbike brand Dat Bike created custom billboards to highlight that its bikes can be charged quickly using a household electrical outlet.

The Charging Billboards showcased that local businesses like shopping malls, offices and cafés could be used as charging stations by placing large orange signs above electrical outlets across Ho Chi Minh City. The signs pointed to the outlets and read, ‘Fast Charging Station’ with the Dat Bike name and logo, to shift the public’s misconceptions about the lack of e-bike charging stations.  

After one week of being live, the campaign prompted other small businesses to join the initiative, highlighting their business as a place to charge an e-bike. People could also get hold of stickers of the signs and share them on social media.

Andrzej Bialasewicz, marketing director at Dat Bike, said in a statement: ‘Instead of racing to invest time, energy and technology into expensive fast-charging stations, we put our effort into creating a superior product that can charge quickly from any household power outlet.’

The campaign was created with Happiness Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Results / The campaign received 10 million online impressions and earned $600,000 worth of media coverage, which was 24 times as much as it cost to produce.

Contagious Insight 

Show them / This campaign is a simple way of showing people the convenience that comes with owning a Dat Bike, persuading them to make the switch from a petrol bike to an electric one. In Vietnam, motorbikes are an extremely popular mode of transportation and in 2020, they outnumbered passenger vehicles. E-bikes are also becoming increasingly popular among locals; EV charging station provider, Bolt Earth, reported in August 2023 that Vietnam ranks second globally in two-wheeler electrification, after China. However, according to the agency, there is still a misconception that the country isn’t ready for electric vehicles, mainly because of the perceived lack of fast-charging stations. Charging Billboards challenges those doubts by showing people that if they switch to a Dat Bike, they can charge their bike quickly using a regular electrical outlet, in any location that’s convenient for them.

Charging Billboards also arrives at the right moment. Towards the end of 2022, petrol stations in and around Ho Chi Minh City were forced to suspend operations due to fuel shortages, as distributors were unable to pass on their rising costs due to a government cap on petrol prices. With external factors affecting the reliability of petrol supplies, this campaign shows people that you can rely on Dat Bike because of its accessible charging points.

Offer your services / In our Brand Citizenship trend, we discuss how brands can become more involved in supporting the public when government resources are dwindling. Here, Charging Billboards shows the brand taking matters into its own hands and creating a product that doesn’t need to rely on the constraints of local EV infrastructure. Speaking about Renault’s Plug Inn campaign, Gaelle Morvan, consulting director at Publicis Conseil, Paris, told Contagious: ‘The challenge was to find a solution that would make the charging network grow fast without having to deal with the constraints and bureaucracy of building public charging stations, while still making it available to everyone.’ Rather than finding a way to provide more EV charging points, Dat Bike created an e-motorbike that can be charged quickly using charging points that already exist – all it had to do was turn a household outlet into a piece of branding.

Less is more / The simplicity of this campaign is what really makes it best-in-class. The majority of businesses have household electrical outlets, so most businesses could feature Charging Billboards in their establishments. This is a win-win for both Dat Bike and small local businesses because the surplus availability of charging outlets encourages people to opt for a Dat Bike, while also providing small businesses an opportunity to attract Dat Bike drivers to use their charging points and spend money with them while they wait for their vehicles to charge. The affordability of the bikes also means that the brand isn’t just limited to high earners, so it can promote the brand in an array of outlets that attract a variety of spenders (Dat Bike designs and produces key components domestically, to keep costs down – the latest model, Weaver++, costs $2,700). According to Statista, the average price for a motorcycle in Vietnam ranges from $1,930 to $2,881.

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