There are two videos currently viral in Thailand and they are both from telco companies – one from Dtac and one from True. Even more interesting is the fact that both are about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Let’s take a look at each one.
This commercial is not only being talked about in Thailand, it’s well-made enough that it crossed launguage borders and Gawker called it “inspirational”. The concept is that “giving is the best communication.”
This ad tries to convey the aforementioned message in a human way. Here’s the ad with English subtitles (spoiler alert: it’s a real tearjerker):
Dtac: Can you help me please?
Dtac takes a cuter approach to its social outreach. The “Can you help me please” commercial is part of the telco’s “Internet for all” campaign, the company’s main CSR campaign. Although the video below is in Thai, the story is quite straightforward: Two children are asking adults to help them with their homework. The questions are simple, asking things like ‘what kind of an animal is a whale?’, ‘What’s the name of Brunei’s capital city?’, and ‘In order to grow a mushroom, which part of the mushroom do you use?’ Yes, this was basic information we were taught back in grade school, but seriously, do any of you remember the answers? I, for one, had no clue. That’s why the adults in the commercials had to use the internet to find the answers.
Which video hit the right notes?
While True’s commercial was well-made – Gawker said it puts full-length Hollywood films to shame – Dtac’s effort to create a candid situation came off as a fail. It feels contrived, which takes away from its intent to be cute. But of course, we’re not here to discuss the quality of the ads.
Let’s take a look at what matters to us – the technology message. To me, Dtac’s message is much clearer and technology/telecommunication focused. True doesn’t say what it does exactly – and we all know that communication is good already. And, no, it’s not giving away free phones or free data.
Dtac, on the other hand, makes it obvious at the end of the commercial that we can be a part of helping Thai kids gain access to the internet by recommending a school that’s in need of internet access. True’s commercial would be out of this world if it ended with a message that somehow ties it back to the company’s roots – telecommunications – instead of just saying “giving is the best way to communicate”. While they may have thought a simple message made their point, I had read through the Youtube video description to get more details. But again, what does this commitment mean? What’s True going to do?
How about AIS?
I can’t wait to see what Thailand’s other big telco, AIS, will do in response. It has a CSR campaign as well, so I believe we can expect another three-minute, civic-minded commercial coming out soon.
(Editing by Steven Millward and Paul Bischoff)