The screening of the gold Film Lion winners in Cannes on Saturday was heavy on the sports (“We’re the Superhumans,” plus lots and lots of Nike) and somewhat light on the humor. But an amusing highlight was a strange three-minute piece by McCann Bangkok that had the audience in the Palais cheering.
Watch the ad below. We won’t spoil it by revealing the product, as trying to figure out what’s going on is half the fun.
As explained at the beginning, the online video plays on the well-known, despised behavior of Thai policemen, who’ll apparently stop motorists for just about anything. The writing and acting are top notch, and the “Is this an advert?” at the end brings things nicely full circle.
“The idea started with the question ‘How can we get consumers to understand that Chitosan captures fats?'” Wichian Thongsuksiri, executive creative director at McCann Worldgroup Thailand, tells AdFreak. “We wanted to harness a uniquely Thai style to bring the benefit to life. The idea of a policeman arresting someone over a seemingly trivial matter is common in Thailand, and there are always local officials involved and lots of bureaucracy. This resonated extremely well with Thais.”
McCann says the spot got 5 million views in the first five days. “I think the results are staggering and I am simply taken back by the power of social media,” Thongsuksiri says.
Winning a gold Lion, he adds, “had me smiling from ear to ear. Over the past decade, I have received numerous awards, but this one has been my proudest moment yet. Recognition from a Thai audience is rewarding, but receiving a gold Lion from international judges, who may not be familiar with Thai culture, is truly extraordinary. I am very proud of Thai-style creativity.”