5 Facebook marketing campaigns from Thailand
South East Asia has been one of the most social media-active areas of the world for quite a while now, and Thailand perfectly fits the trend. As we’ve seen on our recent report about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in Thailand, numbers are huge.
A 130% mobile penetration, over 24 million Facebook users and a heavy usage of platforms like Instagram and Twitter. How can these data be used by companies that want to target the Thai online population?
For what concern marketing purposes, Facebook is still the main hub for many brands, both local and global – such as Pepsi and KFC, that run local FB pages counting well over a million fans (PepsiThai and KFC Thailand).
Here are 4 cool Facebook marketing campaigns – plus a quite controversial one – run in Thailand over the last few months:
- Masters of contests: Ichitan Green Tea.
- The Double A Paper Facebook community.
- The digital launch of Magnum Thailand.
- The Chang Beer‘s online strategy.
- The controversial Citra‘s product launch.
Masters of contests: Ichitan Green Tea
The popular Thai Green Tea brand counts almost 2 million fans on its Facebook page. The marketing strategy revolves around contests and sweepstakes.
A very popular one is based on the Lottery: fans can win 1 million baht (30K USD) and other prizes every day, by checking the Facebook page, where the brand publishes the winning numbers that can be found under the bottle caps (story found here).
On the Facebook page the brand also promotes its distribution partnership with retail chain 7Eleven, and another contest to win a trip to a ski resort in the Japanese island of Hokkaido:
The Double A Paper Facebook community
Double A is a Thai-based company making paper established in the ’90s, making now over 600,000 tons of paper a year. Quality and sustainability have always been among the core values of this very successful company.
The brand is sold all across the world, including Europe and the US, with a quite strong brand identity.
Very popular popular are also its commercial, ranging from extremely witty ones (like “Paper is Paper”) to more outrageous ones, like popular “Girl on the copier”:
For the Thai market, the brand has a Facebook community called Double A Club – counting over 70K people. The page communicates the product pluses and core vaules through a series of editorial content, ranging from how-tos to inspirational quotes.
In 2013 a user-generated video campaign was run, involving users in putting their face into a pre-set video making app right on the Facebook page:
The outcome was great, with over 4000 videos shared across Facebook, Youtube and Twitter:
The digital launch of Magnum Thailand
In 2012 Unilever’s launched popular ice cream brand Magnum in Thailand, through an integrated campaign involving celebrities sharing pictures on Facebook and Instagram, events and traditional media. Here’s a video report:
Over half a million people in Thailand follow the global page of Magnum, being the fifth biggest fan base after Brazil, France, Indonesia and Italy (data source: Social Bakers).
The Chang Beer online strategy
Popular Thai beer Chang (produced by ThaiBev) is active on Facebook with a page in English – as the product is also marketed in the UK market. Yet most of the comments and interactions on the brand page are in Siamese language, the national Thai idiom:
Also, Chang has been among the first brands to use WeChat as a marketing channel in Thailand, through a campaign aimed at promoting its drinking water brand. Users could use the account – named “WeChang” – to get water delivered at home through mobile (more on Tech in Asia).
The controversial Citra’s product launch
Back to Unilever: in late November 2013 the company launched in the Thai market a skin-whitening product called Pearly White UV Body Lotion, part of the cosmetic product line Citra (which has the remarkable amount of 280K fans on Facebook).
The body lotion was launched through TVCMs, Youtube videos and a Facebook contest asking fans to post pictures to prove the effectiveness of Citra Pearly White. This suddenly sparkled online controversies all across the Thai online sphere, due to the fact that skin color is a sensitive issue in the country.
The conversations particularly took place on Citra’s Facebook page and on Pantip, a very popular local online forum.
As reported on the Wall Street Journal:
“The preoccupation with skin tone has a long history in Thailand, anthropologists point out, as seen in Thai literature and mural paintings. Darker skin tone has been associated with peasants and field workers, while people with lighter skin were thought to have higher economic or political status. The appeal of porcelain-like skin has been reinforced by popular light-skinned models and actors.”
The post below refers to the TV ad (now removed from Youtube) which was considered “racist”:
Unilever replied that there was no intention of offending anyone; TV ads were removed from digital channels, although the contest on Facebook continued successfully.
With a huge social media population, Thailand is definitely an interesting market to be reached through online platforms, for both local and global brands. Apart from the knowledge of the language, it’s very important to look at the cultural peculiarities – which sometimes might become an issue, as we’ve just seen.
Tap-ins with local lifestyle and celebrities is certainly something which has been proved to work, as opposed to the mere adaptation of global marketing strategies.