Phở & Social Media

“The relationship between social media and pho? The way I see it, you have many components of social media, just like in a bowl of pho.

The bowl itself represents containers, platforms that make social networking possible. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr; these sites are the bowl. They make participating in this networking possible. The broth represents our network. It symbolizes our relationships with other people, our presence, our connections. Just like the broth brings harmony to every single element of pho, our network is the harmonious jungle we call our “buddies” or “facebook friends.”

The noodle is what I consider to be the essence of the pho. After all, pho is a noodle dish. So for social media, the noodle represents the things we share: the pictures, the links, the songs, the camera photos, the status updates. This is essentially what social media boils down to: sharing things with other people.

The beef is what you reward yourself with after you’ve eaten enough noodle. It’s the big stuff. The hits. And they only come once in a while. The beef is the stuff that makes waves on these social networking communities. Viral videos like Old Spice, “Man Your Man Can Smell Like,” or Nike’s “Write the Future,” or T-Mobile’s “Dance” video. These are the things people can’t get enough of when they see it. They bookmark it, save it, download it. It’s that good.

Lastly, believe it or not, are the herbs. Those herbs that people throw in the last minute right before they eat. Herbs give pho spice and taste. In social media, these spices would be the leaders of the network. People with huge online presence, tons of followers, lots of reactions every time they post a status update. For example, Ashton Kutcher has a huge following on Twitter; he’s an herb. Same as Ricky Gervais in the podcast world; he’s an herb. It’s the people you follow closely, since they’re so entertaining and juicy’

—–SAID a freelance Copywriter: Alexandre V. Nguyen

A quick quest to understand the odd relationship was on. Sample size of interviewees: 30.

Participants profiles: media/advertising agencies, PR agencies, overseas Vietnamese, SME owners

Out of 30, 80% could not find the linkage or ‘relationship’ between Phở – THE infamous Vietnamese noodles soup (beef for the South & Chicken for the North) and social media.

(Credit: Photo by Christian Berg, Logo by RedWorks Tien Doanh). Phở Hòa on 260C Pasteur, P8, Q3, TP. Hồ Chí Minh has been one of the most popular and grounded Phở place in Sài Gòn, opened for more than 40 years. The place remains to date rustic feel, the kind of dinner where there’s no messing around, just honest good phở, tasty broth, fast service. A must eat for all locals and tourists

Second best answer was from Aryeh S (Group M Interactive) ‘ for me, Facebook is kind of like Pho24, you can find it everywhere, and it tastes okay and has pretty much what you want on the menu, but there are definitely better tastes out there . . . there are dozens of great forums that only a few people know about, the sits that have great user generated content but don’t see much traffic, which are like the hole-in-the-wall pho shops that are famous for delicious broth, or maybe the perfect crunchy-chewy quay (bread stick thingies) . . . then you have a sites that are famous for one reason or another, either they specialize in content that a lot of people know about, or maybe a blogger’s site that a lot of people know (but don’t necessarily like), and these are the Pho2000s and other small chains that pretend to be delicious but really are kind of just there . . .’

Interesting answers were mostly from the ‘Creatives’ people who responded with great enthusiasm

You like it at first, and then you grow bored with it, but after a few days without it, you crave for it again

‘Pho-nomenal’ bites of daily virtual diet usually consumed in alternate of one another but seldom simultaneously due to a high risk of screen fogging or choking through sudden reaction to unexpected chat online.

Special thanks to Thomas who inspired the idea.