Crazy Creative Thailand


Most people think Thai commercials are depressing short movies, and it’s true that Thai ads, especially insurance ads, have a reputation of being tearjerkers – I analyzed one in a previous blog post, and here are some more for those of you who love a good cry:

Feeling like a child yet? Good. Now it’s time to broaden your view on Thai advertising: they can be funny too, and usually not the witty and sarcastic type of funny, but the very blunt and ridiculous type. I’m telling you, RIDICULOUS. And they don’t have to be 15 minutes long either. For example, this one PSA (public service announcement/ad):

Isn’t that insanely simple? Don’t you feel so pumped right now to go get some work done and contribute to your glorious nation? I’m just amazed by their ability to turn something so simple, which is stop drinking, into a profound and meaningful lifestyle.

Still craving for more videos? Check these out, but only if you’re not easily offended by sexual/sexist content or horrible video quality:

Sorry it took you longer than you allowed yourself to finish reading my post. I just thought if you were like me, you would be able to spend all day watching (good) commercials too. So after half an hour watching Youtube, what do you think? I can see THEIR WHOLE CULTURE imprinted on these ads! Ok maybe not their WHOLE culture, but a handful of them: gender stereotypes, openness to sexuality, beauty standards, patriotism, etc. Isn’t it wonderful how you can learn so much about a country through their commercials?

In short, Thai ads are crazy creative. Or maybe Thai ads just speak to me because I’m a Southeast Asian. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


Repost: Thai “Sadvertising”

Advertising, ATEC 2321

This is a copy of my Storify post.

As visual technology and cinematography evolve, people’s expectation for films, commercials, video games, and the like also becomes higher. The modern viewer doesn’t only look for pure information and appropriateness but also care more and more about aesthetic values. Therefore, advertising needs to do more than just educating consumers about the products; it needs to deliver stories and provoke emotions that hit people so hard they will remember the brand. That’s how “sadvertising” was born, or as Rae Ann Fera of Fast Company pointed out in her article, “We can’t just be straightforward; we have to reach people emotionally. Now everyone’s crying.”

While Rae Ann Fera provided a very insightful summary of the “sadvertising” trend, she only mentioned the music effect twice, which I don’t think does music justice. Although music is not the main and unique feature of “sadvertising”, it adds a lot to intensify the emotions and trigger the tears. Talking about tears, I want to bring back this gem from 2011:

If you’re not crying right now, then I have failed miserably. Nonetheless, this is how most normal people react to the ad.

There are several analyses of this ad online, but I like this one because it mentions a distinction in culture that made the ad a big hit in East Asia. Nevertheless, let’s focus on the soundtrack of the ad.

This orchestra piece is the instrumental version of Ee Jook Il Nom Eh Sarang, OST of a Korean drama called A Love To Kill. It started out slow with uneven rhythm, creating a sad and serious feel to the commercial. The pitch range is fairly wide, and it reaches its peak when the ad reveals whether the daughter survives or not, which increases viewers’ sentiment. Similarly, the dynamics a.k.a volume rises to a crescendo towards the end of the video, which shows emotional flashbacks of the father and the daughter. All these musical elements play a big role in affecting the viewers’ mood and enhancing their watching experience, as demonstrated by Nina Hoeberichts in her bachelor thesis.

Her thesis also discussed different types of music and when advertisers use them. In this case, the instrumental version of the song is more appropriate than the lyrical one because the lyric is about man-woman love and, more importantly, because the audience needs to focus on the visual and verbal content of the commercial.

I also tried listening to the soundtrack by itself:

It’s a very nice piano piece, but standing alone, it cannot make me cry. Now THAT is the beauty of advertising: a great story and beautiful background music work together to create a masterpiece.

Saddest Commercial Ever

Advertising, ATEC 2321

In researching for this blog, I usually have to gather content from different media platforms, which is the one thing that Storify does best. Hence, my first Storify post was born. In the post, I introduce “sadvertising” and discuss the use of music in one of my favorite commercials of this trend. If you’re craving a good cry, this post is for you.