Apparently trying to watch the films and other Thai commercials of producer Thanonchai Sornsriwichai without breaking down is becoming something of a digital spectator sport. From Asia to Europe and the U.S., Internet users have begun uploading videos of themselves trying to watch Mr. Thanonchai’s films without turning into a blubbering wreck.
When I read this story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, I thought I’m the perfect audience for such videos. I’ve written before about how much I like a good commercial, as well as my propensity to cry. So I knew up front I wouldn’t stand a chance, and I didn’t.
According to the Journal, one of the reasons for the Thai TV commercials’ success is that they often have little, if anything, to do with the product they are pitching. Directors say it is more about creating a mood. The trend is echoed elsewhere, including Britain and Germany, where some advertisers lay on tear-jerkers in the run-up to Christmas. (I’ve previously shared the great Christmas commercials coming out of British retailer John Lewis the past two years, Monty the Penguin and Man on the Moon).
The Journal also mentioned how others are trying to emulate Mr. Thanonchai’s success, but sometimes you can go too far. Nattawut Poonpiriya raised the bar recently by directing a 14-minute teen drama. At 14 minutes long, I’m not sure I would classify it as a commercial. I must admit I haven’t watched it (yet), but in case you are interested, here is the link.
Below are the four commercials produced by Mr. Thanonchai mentioned in the story.
You’ve been warned; have the Kleenex ready.
Silence of Love:
Unsung Hero (his most popular, based on its 26 million views):
The Waiters’ Mom: