If you walk along almost any street in Bangkok, a cacophony of food carts will greet you; street food is embedded in Thai culture, and the food carts offer both convenience, and now, a perfect opportunity for thinking-outside-the-box marketing.
is one of Thailand’s most innovative and fast-growing independent agencies increasingly known for its ability to turn even the smallest of budgets into viral hits for brands. Tapping into the local youth culture surrounding food carts, the team created a small-size, big impact campaign for iQIYI’s Thai series 7 Project. iQIYI being the Chinese online video platform and one of the largest streaming sites in the world with more than 100 million users.
In Thailand, food carts offer both food and a place to connect for Thai teenagers; Yell’s chief creative officer Dissara Udomdej tells LBB that until now the banner space had never been used by a major corporation. Young people would buy banners to support local businesses or Tuk-Tuks, often carrying messages and well wishes to their friends or favourite celebrities or actors.
Generating A Reach of 11.9 Million
In Thailand, 7 Project is a popular drama which is LGBTQ+ positive. The series focuses on campus romance across seven separate episodes, each with its own bespoke theme song. Through the connection of music and video, all types of love are explored in an inclusive way.
With a core Gen Z audience for the series, YELL identified food carts as a place iQIYI could tap into their viewers. So they came up with an idea. They developed banners to sit across 15 food carts outside a sky interchange stop in Bangkok. The banners included images and quotes from the show’s stars like Earth Katsamonnat Namwirote and Boun Noppanut Guntachai - using a smart play on words to grab passers-by attention.
And it did! Within days of launching, the 7 Project was the number one trending item on Twitter in Thailand. The project had an overall reach of 11.9 million - and 1.6 million online engagements too.
Yell's work with iQIYI's 7 Project show has proved the power of small size campaigns in leveraging large results
So how did they do it?
Key to the campaign’s success was where Yell chose to place the banners. There’s a huge difference between 15 banners spread across a country in sparse areas, versus 15 banners in a packed area of Bangkok. “Although we only placed 15 banners, we chose a spot in Bangkok near a sky interchange stop,” says Dissara. “The sky train is used by nearly 400,000 passengers each day.
Capitalising on footfall, Yell was able to ensure visibility for the project. But it wasn’t only a case of impressions in the street; Yell created a virtual campaign, accessed through scanning the QR codes on these interactive banners, to generate attention online.
“We not only put Thai teenagers’ favourite actors on the food carts, but we also personalised the messages from the actors,” says Dissara, as one of the tactics that drew teenagers in. “Then, we created an online activity attached to the banners.”
“Our target audience wish each other happy birthday or anniversary with these banners too, it’s a very local thing. In Bangkok, there are a lot of billboards, high technology, digital signage - for this target group, what they’re looking at and paying attention to is these banners,” says Dissara.
He adds: “We understand the local market.” A spot of genius, the online activity meant the banner had to be physically photographed for teens to be in with a chance of winning a special prize - and a message from the actors.
“Connection is important to them,” says Dissara.
Meeting Teenagers In Culture
The incredibly smart thing about the campaign is that it not only spoke to young people in a place in culture they typically inhabit - in a unique, authentic and relevant way - YELL tapped into a media space that no brand has ever thought to use.
Dissara tells LBB that there is a huge amount of competition in Thailand when it comes to the streaming and entertainment space. So how does a brand get to its target market? Well, as Yell has shown: you have to go straight to the source.
“Thai teenagers enjoy cheering on and supporting their favourite actors. When they see iQIYI acting like this, entering their space, it gives them affiliation with the brand. They see that the brand understands them, just like their friends,” says Dissara. This insight was key to tapping into the audience.
“The results are hugely impressive. It’s a small-size, big impact project for us that connects with teenagers across Thailand,” concludes Dissara.