In just a week, this video called “I Hate Thailand” drew over a million hits.
The five minute video showed a Caucasian tourist on the beach named James who had his bag stolen.
“I hate this place. I hate Thailand,” he says to his handheld camera. The video then goes ahead to show the angry tourist yell at a local police officer, get rude with locals and then finally meet a pretty Thai lady – after which his life changes for the better.
According to AP, numerous Thai newspapers reported the video as real news. This has then prompted the Tourism Authority of Thailand to issue a press release claiming the video as one created by them.
“The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce the tremendous success of its first ‘unbranding’ viral video marketing, which has attracted over one million views within three days after it was released via YouTube on 18 November,” the company said in a press statement.
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Thawatchai Arunyik, the governor of TAT said the video was produced based on a research that an ‘unbranding’ advertisement tend to receive more interest than a conventional branding commercial.
“The intention of this video is solely to depict the renowned Thai hospitality, demonstrating that Thais are ready to be a good host and offer a helping hand to tourists who need help,” said Thawatchai.
Thawatchai said that the video was created for both domestic and international tourists.
For the domestic market, the intention is to remind and educate the Thai people to always be a good host and not to take advantage of tourists, but to offer help to tourists when they need it. For the international market, the government wanted to convey that beyond the beauty of the Thai beaches – one of the main tourist attractions – Thai people great host to all tourists