What can we learn from Thai Advertising?

Believe it or not, I spent more than two days last week just looking at Thai TVCs on YouTube.

You should try it sometime. The TVCs were all funny, memorable, simple, cute and weird.

They don’t have any hangups about having fun, being macho or going off tangent.

They are also not fixated that the story needs to be exactly what the brand stands for.

I think their benchmarks are simply to be impactful and leave a good lasting impression.

They’ve taken the math out of creative filtration and embraced advertising as advertising.

That is, to dramatise and connect with consumers.

Well you may say they can do that because they have less restrictions and they can advertise beer, parade pretty girls and show bare bodies. All points well noted.

But that still does not explain why most of our work is drab, politically correct, derivative and safe.

Something any in-house agency of a brand can whip with a couple of design students.

No disrespect intended for in-house agencies and design students.

I also notice the Cancel culture quite strong in our agencies, where the agency will cancel its own ideas without showing them to their clients for fear of being too “clever”, or worse still “trying to be daring.”

Let me tell you where the great advertising ideas are: in the trash cans of agencies.

Take your trash can of internally-rejected ideas to your client one day, and you may discover something.


OK, OK, every country has crap advertising and the stuff we see from Thailand is the top 10% of the lot.

I’ll accept that excuse, but we don’t even have 5% that is amazing enough.

Just take look at some “old” funny Thai TVCs I have compiled for you below and see if you like them.

Click the links to view. PLEASE view.

“When you entertain your audience, they will stay with you. Do it well, and they will hear what you say and remember you.

Some of this year’s winning ads are great examples of how to do this both creatively and effectively.”

Excerpted from Kantar’s Creative Effectiveness Awards 2023 Book.

Black Cat Whisky – Black Cat – 1997

Gangster mogul sits contemplating his empire and dancing girls. His flunky comes to tell him that one of his debtors is drinking ‘Black’ – ie, expensive whisky. Furious, he orders his men to descend on the hapless debtor. Helicopters, dozens of cars and heavies surround the man’s house. He explains he is drinking ‘Black Cat’, that only costs Baht 130. Harmony is restored.

Agency: Results, Bangkok
Creative Director: Suthisak Sucharittanonta
Copywriter: Suthisak Sucharittano
Art Director: Pechaya Rungrueng
Production Company: Matching Studio, Bangkok
Director: Suthon Petchsuwan
Producer: Porntip Yaowpruekchai
Agency Network: Independent / Non-network
Product: Black Cat Whisky
Title: Black Cat
Duration: 121
Country: Thailand
Year: 1997

Clairol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Dance – 1997

A young couple is letting rip in the living room, dancing wildly to a pop tune. They swing their hips and toss their long manes of black hair around. Mum, meanwhile, busily vacuums the floor under their feet as they dance. Once done, she opens the vacuum cleaner and removes the dust-box which, it turns out, is absolutely clean. “Clairol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo.”

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Bangkok
Creative Director: Korn Tepintarapiraksa
Copywriter: Korn Tepintarapiraksa/ Kulvadee Doksroy
Art Director: Korn Tepintarapiraksa
Agency Producer: Veera Anantaveeraphan
Production Company: The Film Factory, Bangkok
Director: Pon-ek Ratanareung
Agency Network: Ogilvy & Mather
Product: Clairol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Title: Dance
Duration: 47
Country: Thailand
Year: 1997

Counterpain Balm – Weightlifting – 1997

A weightlifter hoists a massive weight above his head and waits for the competition steward to press the scoring button that would allow him to put the weight down. The button won’t work. There’s a technical problem. He is told to “wait a moment”. He holds on, and on and on? sweat pouring down his face, his muscles twitching in agony. “Muscle pain? Try Counterpain.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Bangkok
Creative Director: Korn Tepintarapiraksa
Copywriter: Korn Tepintarapiraksa/ Kulvadee Doksroy
Art Director: Korn Tepintarapiraksa
Agency Producer: Veera Anantaveeraphan
Production Company: The Film Factory, Bangkok
Director: Pongpaibool Sithiku
Producer: Revat Vorarat
Agency Network: Ogilvy & Mather
Product: Counterpain Balm
Title: Weightlifting
Duration: 63
Country: Thailand
Year: 1997

Telecomasia – Daddy – 1994

An airport, late one evening. A man talking on the telephone is waving his arms around wildly, making strange noises, trotting like a horse. Has he flipped? Been overworking? No. He’s telling his daughter a bedtime story via a videophone. Until she falls asleep. “TelecomAsia believes that one picture can say more than a million words… Technology for tomorrow.”

Agency: Leo Burnett, Bangkok
Creative Director: Patamavalai Ratanapoom
Copywriter: Surussavadi Chuarchart
Art Director: Siri Amnouybudhamate/ Wanchai Assanaugsanakul
Agency Producer: Paranee Jethsomma
Production Company: The Film Factory, Bangkok
Director: Pongpaibool Sithiku
Producer: Mongkol Nirunpong
Agency Network: Leo Burnett
Product: Telecomasia
Title: Daddy
Duration: 61
Country: Thailand
Year: 1994

Sealect Tuna – Walking – 2002

A shapely young woman, in a dinky top and tight, short skirt, stalks seductively through an office. The men stop work and drool. But alone in the sanctity of the elevator – she gasps out frantic lungfuls of air and her stomach bursts free into a bulging pot belly! “Introducing Low Fat Sealect Tuna. Suck in no more”.

Agency: Dentsu Young & Rubicam, Bangkok
Creative Director: Trong Tantivejakul
Copywriter: Chokechai Kasemsripitak
Art Director: Jirasak Tungkanopas/
Agency Producer: Nareerat Aphiphunya
Production Company: Phenomena, Bangkok
Director: Thanonchai Sornsrivichai
Agency Network: Dentsu
Product: Sealect Tuna
Title: Walking
Duration: 31
Country: Thailand
Year: 2002

Chiclets Stick – Home – 2003

A young chap at home is chomping very rapidly. His overweight Mum sees an opportunity in this and utilises the vibrating jaw of her Chiclets-obsessed son as the energy source for her personal vibrating weight-loss belt. Chiclets Sticks. It’s useful.

Agency: J. Walter Thompson, Bangkok
Creative Director: Pinit Chantaprateep
Copywriter: Thamrong Wangsawangkul/Warawut Kaennakham
Art Director: Kittiphan Palmoke
Agency Producer: Poj Rajkulchai
Production Company: Phenomena, Bangkok
Director: Thanonchai Sornsrivichai
Agency Network: JWT

Krung Thai Bank – Murder – 2003

A woman comes home in a thunderstorm, enters her house, screams. She dashes to the telephone – it’s dead! Cut to her husband earlier, about to scale a live fish – the lights go out. The flapping fish splashes him with red sauce – and when he goes to wash, no water flows.

Thus she finds her husband in the dark, seemingly covered with blood, and holding a kitchen knife. VO: “Avoid this domestic thriller. Let Krung Thai Bank take care of your household bills.”

Agency: Flagship Co, Bangkok
Creative Director: Chuckiat Jaroensuk
Copywriter: Passapol Limpisirisan/Nucharat Nuntananonchai
Art Director: Wiboon Leepakpreeda/Nimit Songsri
Agency Producer: Phunyawee Intamas
Production Company: Matching Studio, Bangkok
Director: Suthon Petchsuwan
Producer: Panot U-Dom
Agency Network: Independent / Non-network
Product: Krung Thai Bank
Title: Murder
Duration: 47
Country: Thailand
Year: 2003

Soken Dvd Player – Kill Bill Kill Bill – 2004

A white collar guy corners a colleague in the office kitchen to tell him about the “Kill Bill” DVD he rented. But he keeps freezing in mid-sentence and repeating himself again and again. “Then she sta..sta..sta..sta..stabs one of the gangsters.” “Suddenly, suddenly, suddenly, suddenly.”

Poor colleague is understandably perplexed. It seems like the man’s DVD player has more than a few problems. Soken DVD – “Plays smoothly.”

Agency: Euro RSCG Flagship, Bangkok
Creative Director: Chukiat Jarensuk/Passapol Limpisirisan/Wiboon Leepakpreeda
Copywriter: Sittichai Okkararojkij/Passapol Limpisirisan
Art Director: Wiboon Leepakpreeda/Nimit Songsri
Agency Producer: Phunyawee Intamas
Production Company: Matching Studio, Bangkok
Director: Suthon Petchsuwan
Producer: Ngamit Kruewan
Agency Network: Havas
Product: Soken Dvd Player
Title: Kill Bill Kill Bill
Duration: 47
Country: Thailand
Year: 2004


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