Leo Burnett, TAT take new approach to tourism advertising

09 Dec,2014

By A Correspondent


Leo Burnett Thailand and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) had released an unbranded and uncredited video online two weeks ago. Titled “I hate Thailand”, the five-minute video quickly drew the attention of people around the world and raked up a million views within just three days. The film currently stands at over 1.8 million views and the number of views continue to grow.


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. TAT’s studies show that 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. Considered unconventional in the sea of tourism marketing, the film stood out for its charming story that is entertaining, relevant with a twist at the end. The interest and attention it drew as a standalone unbranded film amplified its key messages following its reveal as a piece of TAT content.


The idea for “I hate Thailand” is simple. Just like anywhere else in the world, travellers may have good or bad experience in a country they visit, Thailand is no different. However what is unique is the Thai people and their way of living – which may quite possibly save the day and turn your initial “hatred” to become a lifetime memory.


The story is about James, a traveller who visits Thailand for the very first time. James is upset as he had lost his bag which he presumed was stolen. His thoughts of Thailand inevitably started with “I hate Thailand” and that’s where the journey begins. Over the course of the story, Thai people gradually change his mind through their friendly attitude and generous hospitality, something he never expected at all. James visits Thailand only once, but who knows how long that ‘once’ is going to last.


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