It seems as if Asia’s current economic crisis has led the majority of clients to slash budgets and has left the average agency hiding behind safe and predictable ads.

It seems as if Asia’s current economic crisis has led the majority

of clients to slash budgets and has left the average agency hiding

behind safe and predictable ads.

However, despite the doom and gloom, a few agencies in a few countries

are still fighting the good fight and turning heads with some decent


There is no country that illustrates this commitment to raising the bar

more than Thailand.

A recent commercial for PTT Performa Gold (petrol) from Leo Burnett,

Bangkok, does just that. Essentially, the commercial is a spoof of

Godzilla films past and present. While Godzilla is trampling through the

city, his fiery breath deserts him. Despondent and embarrassed, he

wanders off but then finds a petrol station. The ending needs no

explanation. Now, while the idea is cute, the real humour of the spot

comes from the added touches throughout. In mid-panic, everyone in the

street, including Godzilla, stops to pay their respects to the Thai

flag. A small child starts to sing ’Happy Birthday’ as Godzilla’s flame

is extinguished. The ad is full of subtle and entertaining side jokes.

All in all, a lot more entertaining than the recent feature film.

Another ad which caught my eye is the latest campaign for FedEx,

developed by the Hub (BBDO) in Hong Kong, led by David Alberts. The

first in the series shows a group of FedEx couriers carrying the coffin

of a fellow worker through a cemetery. They are followed by a pack of

mourners in a typical funeral march. As the ad unfolds, the FedEx pall

bearers begin to pick up the pace, until finally they are sprinting with

the coffin towards the grave. Basically, the deceased FedEx employee,

Richard Devlin, would not want to be remembered as ’the late Richard

Devlin’. Although I’ve yet to see the second ad in this campaign, I’ve

heard about it and it sounds even funnier and fresher.

Moving back to Bangkok, but staying with the same agency, BBDO, this

time the client is Giffarine, a calcium supplement for children. In

Thailand, it seems the only thing funnier than fat people is short

people. (As you can probably tell, being politically correct isn’t a

priority.) The ads revolve around a very short man trying to go about

everyday life; riding a train and trying to reach the hand rail or

trying in vain to put his suitcase up on to a bus luggage rack. Each ad

finishes with the line: ’Short??? Or short on calcium?’ Perhaps not the

most refined strategy in the world but apparently it’s hilarious.

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