Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Foxkalomaski - Thai Airways

Today things were a lot better at FK. Steve let me know that I was going to be sitting in on a pre-pre-brainstorming session for a new campaign for Thai Airways. Following their latest campaign for The Bahamas tourist board (see Fourteen Islands Film Challenge), FK & Brik are looking to develop something similar for Thai Airways; they want a low-spend, high 'talkability' campaign, which generates web hits, press coverage, user generated content (UGC) etc. Who doesn't eh? (To see how it's really done, check out this year's big award winner The Best Job in the World for the Queensland tourist board).

So anyway, I started thinking... What I knew was that I wanted to get away from imagery like this:

...which seemed to proliferate previous Thai Air work. Nor did I want to feel too restricted by the Thai link; I didn't want to limit the campaign possibilities by having to bring it back to the textile trade which gave rise to the 'Smooth as Silk' strap-line currently in use. We can be a little more liberal, you know? Sony don't sell TVs - they sell colour; BMW don't sell cars either - they sell joy. What do Thai airways sell? Freedom - exploration - escapism? These are all more abstract concepts which can be extrapolated from the product, yet lend wider ad scope.

After a bit of net browsing, I discovered that sky lanterns are big in Thailand; they come out on just about every thai festival or occasion worth talking about. Here:

I know it says Taiwan, but they're big there too. They're just spot on for an air travel company. In Thailand, they even symbolize worries floating away!

So I thought some kind of event, in a major city like London, where thousands of these lanterns (coloured purple and sporting thai logos of course) are let off would create a bit of buzz and be seen from a mile off. I figured it may attract a lot of A. free media coverage B. YouTube uploads and C. Photo sharing and blogging. (Note, the vid above has 420,000 hits in just 7 months, and thats not even set in London!)

Such an event would also be a great photo opportunity - enabling later print executions with images like this:

I raised this idea at the pre-pre-brainstorming session, it didn't exactly fly. (Excuse the pun). While it gave some strong imagery, it didn't have the longevity or depth the team were after. They wanted something which would direct traffic to the site month on month... not just the weekend of the event. I saw their point - it's no 'best job in the world'.

A little dejected, I went off to have another go. When I got home and did a little more internet research, I came across this:

So it looks like the yanks beat me to it. Even if it's not an event/stunt like mine, it's the same idea - just with a corny as hell voice over. I guess I'll need something else. Back to the drawing board as they say.

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