Monday 17 December 2007

Is this minty?

Most people know that Thailand is my spiritual home and where my daughter waits for me. I've never caught more natural smiles than while walking through Klong Toey market than in any other place on the planet - I've always felt more at home with the underprivileged and the people of Isan than the plutocratic and plundering Bangkok ruling elite such as the former Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra (Owner of Man City Football Club) who is under investigation for human rights abuses including those 3000 or so extra judicial killings a few years back.

No, I don't mean the smiles that are laid on in the environment of the 'White Collar' classes which you can read more about over here. I mean the smiles that are free, simple, unpretentious and generous of life.

I deeply regret what the West did by selling electrification and the automobile into Siam. An idyllic and rural paradise on earth that can still be glimpsed today in out of town places and where the people in the past, were in harmony with their environment, where they turned from agrarian littering of discarded banana skins and coconuts that decomposed naturally into the environment, to plastic bag throwers that blight most of the cities of S.E. Asia

But this ad I stumbled across earlier is I believe not a showcase example of this wonderful country, and as we talked about over here could well be yet another example of latent racism. Thailand you are bigger and better than this. It is my belief the creatives tried to put the right message in at the beginning, when I thought it was starting to look like a WORLD CLASS AD.


  1. I think you're maybe stretching things to define this as 'racist', especially when you compare it with the toothpaste ad. It's more a case of jovial nationalism (cf all those lager ads that take the piss out of the Germans, usually with Dambusters references). They're moderately amusing, unless you're on the receiving end.

    It does raise questions, though: with YouTube, etc, to what extent should advertisers be wary of responses from beyond the target market? If an ad works in its home territory, but causes offence when shown out of context on one of those Chris Tarrant 'aren't foreigners bizarre?' shows (or equivalent), should the advertisers worry?

    And then we've got the cross-cultural question of whether it's racist to accuse another culture of racism, which is just too dissertaion-length to deal with here.

  2. I don't know Tim. I know your dissertation length philosophical point but I ask you a question. Could this creative vehicle ever be executed with a Thai fighting a Thai?

    I think you know the answer to that one.

  3. hmm... you really think that those smiles are honest? there was a really interesting little documentary on bbc last night about asian girls looking for foreign husbands, as with no higher education thy have no prospects in their own country. so they look for foreign men to either take them away form there or financially support them. quite sad really. and all the sad ugly foreign fuckers really thought it was all honest and sweet too.

  4. Hello proxikid. I think the link to smiles and culture in the post speaks for itself, but in principle I don't have a problem with impoverished Asian women (or men for that matter) meeting lonely guys (women) from the West. Its not the ideal conditions for love but then most people evaluate their partners wealth creation abilities when assessing them for a partner.