Dong-A Pharmaceutical is getting a huge boost in Vietnam thanks to the hero status there of national football manager Park Hang-seo.
As soon as Park started appearing in the ads for Dong-A's Bacchus energy drink, it enjoyed sudden popularity in Vietnam after about 10 years of wallowing in the doldrums.
According to local media on Tuesday, Dong-A has sold about 1.66 million cans of Bacchus in the three months since the ads featuring Park appeared in June, making the company around W1 billion (US$1=W1,117).
Dong-A first launched Bacchus in Vietnam in the early 2000s but stopped selling it as it struggled to compete against local rivals.
But once the company picked Park as the "face" of its campaign, it conquered the Vietnamese market fast. During the Asian Games in Indonesia last month, Bacchus sales soared as Park took the national team to the quarterfinals.
The product is sold in a 250-ml can with Park's picture and autograph on it.
Park is bigger than most Korean pop stars in Vietnam, and T-shirts with his face on them are a must-have item for teenagers.
"We didn't realize Park is so popular but we see the magic now," a Dong-A staffer said.