Ad Nut
Feb 7, 2018

Thailand's new tourism tagline: 'Open to the new shades'

The Tourism Authority's new global campaign through BBDO Bangkok hits a lot of nice notes, but does decoding the message ask too much of the viewer?

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) named BBDO Bangkok the agency of record for its international unit in August last year, and here's the big unveil of a global campaign and a new tagline, 'Open to the new shades'.

The two-minute film shows three traveller stories. A wealthy man gets out of his pricey hotel (and his Mercedes) for a transcendent roadside culinary experience. A young woman takes up Thai boxing and explains the decision in a letter to her father. A young couple enjoys beaches, scenery and massages.  

The voiceovers focus on being open to unfamiliar activities and diverse cultural experiences, which allow one to see "not just one but millions of shades". The film concludes by endorsing Thailand as "the land that'll make everyone open" to the "true meaning of diversity".

Ad Nut responded positively to the ad's messages, and appreciated that the film matter-of-factly features a same-sex couple as a romantic storyline. (Ad Nut couldn't help noticing that the pair scrupulously avoids any physical contact whatsoever, but nonetheless, the screentime itself represents progress.) 

Overall however, the film is a bit ponderous. The other two storylines come across as overly contrived. Ad Nut was initially unsure who the characters were talking to and missed some of the nice scenery while trying to work it out.

And about that tagline. Standing on its own, you'd think it belonged to a maker of window coverings. Even knowing it belongs to Thailand, it takes a lot of mental energy to parse the meaning. Ad Nut gets paid to puzzle through such things (in peanuts, literally, but stlll!). Will your average potential tourist be so devoted to the task? Put another way, if it takes two minutes to explain a tagline, is it going to be effective?

Ad Nut's not saying the campaign won't work. It might. We'll see. Anyway it's way better than one past TAT effort that comes to mind (see "The Tourism Thailand video people are calling 'creepy'"). On the other paw, it's extremely safe, which is usually not a good thing. In fact, it makes Ad Nut long for the days when the TAT was up for some real risks (see "Tourism authority outed as producer of 'I hate Thailand' video"). 


Chairman & CCO : Suthisak Sucharittanonta
Deputy CCO : Anuwat Nitipanont
Head of Planning : Prasit Kunanuphanchai
Planning manager : Sakila Banyen
Client Service Director : Tuangyos Charoensiri
Creative Director : Pitha Udomkanjananan
Creative Group Head : Thiti Boonkerd
Art Director : Thanan Srisukh
Film Producer : Yathip Thanitthanaphat
Account Director: Rattapat Boodsri
Account Executive: Thayanee Sudsopa

Ad NutAd Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. Check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame.


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