|Title||I HATE THAILAND|
|Brand||TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND|
|Product / Service||TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND|
|Category||A01. Fiction: series or film|
|Entrant||THE LEO BURNETT GROUP THAILAND Bangkok, THAILAND|
|Entrant Company||THE LEO BURNETT GROUP THAILAND Bangkok, THAILAND|
|Contributing Company||THE LEO BURNETT GROUP THAILAND Bangkok, THAILAND|
|Media Agency||STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP Bangkok, THAILAND|
|Production Company||HUB HO HIN BANGKOK Bangkok, THAILAND|
|Sompat Trisadikun||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Chief Creative Officer|
|Keeratie Chaimoungkalo||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Executive Creative Director|
|Pipat Uraporn||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Creative Group Head|
|Putthikon Saeamad||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Art Director|
|Pipat Uraporn||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Art Director|
|Keeratie Chaimoungkalo||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Art Director|
|Sompat Trisadikun||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Art Director|
|Prathan Udomsubvong||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Copywriter|
|Samira Thancharoenkit||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Account Management Director|
|Apiporn Kunakorn||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Account Manager|
|Pimsorn Chanpa||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Account Executive|
|Sompetch Nuntasinlapachai||The Leo Burnett Group Thailand||Agency Producer|
|Thawisawakorn Seangkaharat||The Leo Burnett Group Thailandt||Technicaian|
|Nithiwat Tharatorn||Hub Ho Hin Bangkok||Director|
|Nattapon Kornkaew||Hub Ho Hin Bangkok||Producer|
With branded entertainment continuing to pay for advertising space, consumers will find their experience of reality so fragmented that their ability to concentrate will be drastically reduced and they never concentrate on one element for any length of time. Online and social media becomes a dominant channel to search for traveling information. An increasing number of online branded content has been generated to promote the countries. Given the situation that Tourism Authority of Thailand’s communication budget was far below that of neighboring tourism organizations, this communication was carefully planned to reach the highest cost effectiveness. Not only TAT needed to break through the clutter of other tourism organizations’ branded content, but also consumer-generated content about Thailand, which feels more real and convincing than a traditional commercial. Most importantly, as a governmental body, ‘I hate Thailand’ would be the last word that the Tourism Authority of Thailand would ever have the right to say in any forms of communication.
An unbranded and uncredited video online, titled “I hate Thailand” was released, using a ‘counter-intuitive’ strategy in order to put Thailand back into the spotlight in tourism industry. Faced with falling numbers in repeat visitors over the past few years and strong competition from other markets in the region, Thailand needed to remind visitors of what made them fall in love with the country beyond the famous sights and attractions. The studies show the one thing that Thailand has always stand head and shoulders above its keenest competitors is its hospitality and excellent service. And at the heart of this is the uniqueness of the Thai people and their way of life that makes visitors’ experience to Thailand ‘amazing’ and memorable. “I hate Thailand” tapped into this insight to reinforce what makes Thailand special and remind visitors of their unique Thai experience. The film was launched only on YouTube and uploaded by one anonymous user in order to keep it unbranded. The only paid media is ‘suggested view’ when user’s keyword search matched our pre-set keywords to avoid being perceived as a commercial. The interest and attention it drew as a standalone unbranded film amplified its key messages following its reveal as a piece of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) content. The revelation created headlines internationally which accounted for uncountable media value and this drove the online interest even further. The provocative title and beautifully twisted story played the key factors in its organic sharability across all social platforms and the film finally went worldwide with little media investment.
Besides the provocative title, the story was built based on the entertaining value, relevancy and a surprising twist. The opening scene mimics self-video recording to draw attention and drag people into the beauty of Thai-ness. This film was uploaded on YouTube by one anonymous user to keep it unbranded. The only paid media is ‘suggested view’ when user’s keyword search matched our pre-set keywords to avoid being perceived as a commercial. Our targets prefer travelers’ reviews to advertising messages. Everything was planned carefully to get away from a commercial pattern to make sure the content would penetrate across the target.
Only media investment of 30,000 USD, the film gained over 1 million views within 3 days. The campaign gained more than 350,000 Facebook and 3,000 twitter organic shares, more than 150 earned publications, such as the Telegraph, AP, Huffington Post, and over 235 million impressions in USA. The film created an immediate effect after launch in November 2014. In January 2015, Thailand welcomed 2.65 million tourists and generated 120 billion Baht revenue, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.9% and 12.7% respectively. In Q1 2015, the number of international tourist arrivals gained 17.69% increase compared to the same period last year.
The fact that this entry is “unbranded” is the key element of this branded content. The story of ‘I hate Thailand’ was created using a ‘counter-intuitive’ strategy to name such a provocative title to induce people’s interest to watch further. The opening scene mimics self-video recording to draw attention, portraying an undesirable experience anyone wouldn’t want in their visit to Thailand. However, the story was intentionally created that way to drag people into a beautiful story of Thai-ness. The ‘unbranded’ and ‘counter-intuitive’ strategy enables this content to cut through the targeted travelers and engage them to watch (The engagement rate is as high as 86%). Bombarded with all kinds of content when they surf for information to find an inspiration for their next trip, ‘I hate Thailand’ shows a strong disruptive power to naturally invite people into the amazing story of what this country can offer.