In advance of Thailand's mother's day (12 August), restaurant chain Bar-B-Q Plaza gave some of its employees a questionairre that seems to have reduced most of them to tears (the ones who appear in the ad anyway). Apparently these young people have shamefully neglected their dear mothers who sacrificed so much for them all their lives. For goodness sake, not one of them even knows what their mum's favourite food is, nor can they remember the content of the last conversation they had with her. Selfish ingrates!
Ad Nut thinks the next logical step would have been to give these employees the day off on mother's day in order to spend time with their mums. But apparently that was simply out of the question. So the brand instead brought some of the mothers in a month before mother's day for a meal and a chance for their children to express their true feelings—with the cameras rolling and plenty of time for editing and seeding on social networks in advance of mother's day.
So clear is the brand's concern for its employees that Ad Nut assumes these meetings took place during government-mandated 15-minute meal breaks and that the mothers were given 5 per cent off on their purchase of select menu items.
In case Ad Nut's sarcasm is getting in the way: Ad Nut was not moved by this film, unless you count being moved to disgust and extreme sarcasm. Even if the brand's heart is in the right place (which it probably is), the whole thing comes across as distressingly manipulative. Perhaps the subtitles are really bad, but the questionairre seems to be blaming the employees for a loss of closeness that is most likely a natural outcome of working long hours. To put them on camera and reduce them to tears for marketing purposes is crass and frankly mean (and mind you, it looks bad even if these are actors rather than real employees). Finally, the brand's supposedly generous act of setting up some quality time for the employees and their mothers rings hollow because the timing was cleary motivated by the video-production schedule.
Rather than a concocted tearjerker, a real gesture of genuine concern could have done some good for actual people and earned positive attention via social media at the same time. How about paying the employees who have to work on mother's day a bit extra so they could treat their mums to a good meal or a nice gift?
Client: Bar-B-Q Plaza
Chataya Supanpong, Ruangshine Supanpong, Boonyanuch Boonbumrungsup, Rate Takulthai, Mayuree Chitrakorn, Panadda Ritthiruengdej
Agency: nudeJEH Bangkok
Creative Chairwoman: Jureeporn Thaidumrong
Creative Director: Andrew Chu
Creatives: Matthana Saetiaw, Arnon Kantawang, Worrawan Chailert, Pat Deesawat, Wuttinun Nakprom, Suradech Prapairat
Account Service: Kanaporn Hutcheson, Konthamas Ratanasuvan, Kodchakorn Walaphon, Pojanee Sowantip, Nattabhat Jumpathong
Agency Producer: Kanoksak kanchanachutha
Planner: Jongkoch Dusittanakarin
Production House: Phenomena
Director: Thanonchai Sornsrivichai
Producer: Panida Ngamsompong
Editors: Duriyin Nadesuwan, Sarayoot soodsamai