The past week has seen three of Thailand's most prominent brands each unveil new, digital marketing campaigns demonstrating that the Internet--whilst only reaching 20 million of Thailand 65 million plus population--remains an important platform for communication.
First up, mobile operator DTAC has been taking advantage of Twitter's promoted services through a tieup with digital agency, McFiva, which holds Twitter advertising rights in Thailand, as I revealed last month.
DTAC's @dtac_feelgoood Twitter account is one of the first in Thailand to be verified while the company is running an advertising campaign which sees it listed as a recommended account to follow ("Promoted" as you can see here - h/t @DaveOli) which has helped to gather more than 57,000 followers (at time of writing) which is certainly impressive.
Though it doesn't have an office in the country (as yet), Google Thailand launched its first ever television advertising campaign on Tuesday to help promote Google's Chrome browser, the Thai version of which launched in August 2010, It uses the "Jak Jai Pa" campaign to show parents how they can use the browser to collect and store memories and information of their children.
Ok, so technically this isn't digital advertising per se, but the advert is interesting because it uses mainstream media--in this case TV--to reach the Internet using audience. As mentioned earlier, Thailand's Internet penetration is little over one-third so collectively traditional media, when used well, can offer a larger audience which almost certainly covers most Internet users.
I suspect the campaign will hit other media platforms, both on and offline, but cannot confirm that at this stage.
Finally, Thai Airways has been making use of YouTube, over television, to build buzz around its "Super Jumbo" Airbus A380 plane which travel industry blog Tnooz claims will begin flying in August this year.
The video, shot as a walkthrough to demonstrate the features of the new aircraft, has clocked up more than 17,000 views to date since being uploaded last Friday.
However, as Tnooz goes on to state, this initial buzz has a long way to go before reaching the audience of Singapore Airline's A380 YouTube video which has received more than 1.1 million views since it was posted in 2007.
Together, these three different examples of brands using both new and traditional media as part of their advertising demonstrate that, despite many reports to the contrary, considerable numbers of brands in Asia are using new media in proficient and tactical ways.
While I do concede that lesser brands in Asia are not as new media-savvy as their Western equivalents, reports stating that Asian brands either don't get or are intimidated by social media and online advertiser are increasingly untrue.
When you consider the size of presence and activity that Asia enjoys on new media platforms--Thailand, for example, just passed 10 million Facebook users, notching five-fold growth in less than 18 months--it is more than a little patronizing to suggest brands are so far removed from their customers that they fail to react and utilize new media.