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The Thai Art of Emotive Storytelling

The emotive storytelling expertise of Thailand’s Advertising and commercial filmmaking Industry has few rivals. Their filmic short stories that resonate with empathic viewer meaning are globally appreciated and lauded.

Particularly noteworthy, are the heart-touching stories of Thai Life Insurance Company’s commercials that have been one of the most consistently effective television advertising campaigns in Asia for over three decades.

In an interview with Mumbrella Asia*, Phawit Chitrakorn, managing director of Thai Life Insurance’s advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok explained their creative philosophy;

“Our aim is for people to appreciate the ‘Value of Life’, which is a core value of the brand. What people should takeaway is that Thai Life Insurance truly and deeply understands the value of life”.

“We try to never embellish or be overly melodramatic. We want to keep it real as much as possible. This comes from our belief that a person’s life isn’t something to be played around with”.

“What we try to do is find a touching human story that we all believe can happen to anyone, neighbours, friends, or even family. When we achieve this, life insurance companies begin to have meaning in our lives”.

Universal Insigh

Phawit Chitrakorn elaborated on the insight that makes Thailand one of the world’s most creative countries for storytelling filmmaking; “Good Thai work is real and emotionally honest; something that has a universal insight that people around the world understand and appreciate”.

(* Mumbrella Asia. Marketing and Media Industry News Website)

1. Thai Health Promotion Foundation, The Road Home

Advertising Agency: VMLY&R, Bangkok, Thailand

Directed by Suthon Petchsuwan, this moving story represents a new approach by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation of launching a road safety initiative with an online commercial.

The sensitively crafted narrative has a highly emotive twist in the end that makes for a powerfully effective message.

2. Kasikorn Bank K Plus App, Friendshit

Advertising Agency: GREYnJ United, Bangkok, Thailand

Directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, this insightful story is about Hui, a socially inept young girl who sets off to join a new school and is worried about her ability to interact successfully with fellow students.

Her only hometown friend Kluay is sympathetic to her plight and tries to advise her about how to make new friends.

3. Bar-B-Q Plaza, About Mums

Advertising Agency: nudeJEH, Bangkok, Thailand

Directed by Thanonchai Sornsriwichai, this 5 minute long story is about a social experiment the restaurant conducted with their waitering staff.

The participants are not actors, they are genuine Bar-B-Q Plaza restaurant employees, which makes the personal reaction of each person pondering on the questions being asked, genuinely compelling, very emotive and highly watchable.

4. Thai Life Insurance, Unsung Hero

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Bangkok, Thailand

Thanonchai Sornsriwichai is a master of emotional advertising and one of the most awarded directors of commercials in the world.

‘Unsung Hero’ motivated over 17 million views from 232 countries within four weeks of being launched and is the world’s ninth most shared viral video to date.

5. Thai Life Insurance, Garbage Man

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Bangkok, Thailand

Director Nattawut Poonpiriya skillfully creates an amazingly intimate viewer connection to this human story. The mood and tonal use of natural light and superb editing of emotive close-ups elevates his emotive storytelling to a fine art.

The commercial generated 1.6 million views in its first week of being broadcast.

6. Thai Life Insurance, The Silence of Love

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Bangkok, Thailand

Directed by Thanonchai Sornsriwichai with great sensitivity, human insight and emotive drama, the commercial had a global impact. Six years later it is still being viewed and commented upon, a remarkable achievement and a fitting testimony to the universal agelessness of human truths.