Thai Commercials: Great at Making People Cry

The ad industry quietly becoming the world’s leading producer of weep-worthy viral videos

Vizer / Youtube

Advertising on television often falls into neat, stereotypical categories; beer ads are funny, car ads are slick, men in household products ads are dumb, wives in electronics ads are shrews.

But Thailand is quietly becoming the world leader in a special niche: the tear-jerker. John Lewis, a British department store, has become renowned for its Christmas heart-warmers and tear-jerkers, and nearly every massive multinational from Google to Coca Cola has least produced at least one. Thailand’s ad industry, though, is taking them to the next level.

The genre is so popular in Thailand that companies write special, extended-length versions of tear-jerker commercials that run for several minutes, and go viral on YouTube and Facebook. Security camera company Vizer is the latest to pull at Thailand’s heartstrings—this ad, uploaded by the company on August 27, has already been viewed by 5.4 million people on Facebook and more than 3 million on YouTube:

There are plenty of other examples out there, including this Thai father’s breakdown while watching his new baby, and this heartbreaking four-minute ad campaign to encourage hair donations for cancer survivors:

Here, a Thai Life Insurance ad tells the story of a young boy whose mother has cancer, and still manages to be uplifting:

Another from the same company tells a story of a younger child who has to skip school to help his mother sweep the streets:

But this 12-minute opus probably takes the Thailand tear-jerker crown. It is an advertisement for True Corporation, owner of Thailand’s largest cable TV and Internet services, as well as one of the largest mobile networks in the country. Like the Vizer ad above, the company it advertises is far from life-and-death industries like life insurance, pensions, or healthcare, but it packs a hell of a punch nonetheless: