Tourism Thailand’s experiment with meaningful content marketing goes wrong when a modern-day travel tale comes off more creepy than it is sentimental.
The video, created by Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the National Federations of Thai Film Associations, aims to promote the unique traditions and attractions of Thailand to locals and international tourists.
Its attempt to integrate technology, namely Instagram, is what turns the solid concept into an uncomfortable finished product.
The basic story plot includes a Thai woman traveling in remembrance of her sister and an American man traveling to heal a broken heart.
The woman, Pim, posts photos of her trip to Instagram, which the man builds his itinerary around in hopes of finding her. His trip quickly catches up to her’s and he begins to pursue a friendship, even though she clearly doesn’t want one from the start.
Pim, slightly uncomfortable with her new travel companion, slowly gives in. The two experience Thailand together and post photos along the way. The video ends with the man once again confessing his feelings only to met by a silence.
The idea of two solo travelers finding one another on a journey is a traditional and heartfelt tale, for sure. But the sentiment is quickly lost considering one party relentlessly tracks down the other to solve his relationship issues. Is this just another tone-deaf move by Tourism Thailand (it of the plastic surgery contest and other bad ideas), or a true reflection on just one of the ways that social media has changed the way we travel and interact?
A 5-minute trailer and the full 16-minute film can be viewed below: