Creativity: a ‘not so’ secret sauce
We often talk about creativity being a ‘secret sauce’. For one campaign, sauce literally became the star of the show. We speak to Park Wannasiri of WPP’s Wunderman Thompson in Bangkok
When Wunderman Thompson in Bangkok brought together two clients – the global Netflix brand and Roza, one of the most famous Thai food manufacturer brands – the results truly exceeded all expectations. While the Thai agency is renowned for its free-thinking approach to creative briefs, this time the reach of this creative thinking went far and wide – across Thailand and into Asia – and had a significant impact on the business of both clients.
“In Thailand, we are really good at film. And we are really good at using creativity to reach the consumer at different touchpoints,” says Wannasiri. “We like to create excitement in the market. Consumers should not be aware that they are watching a brand’s communications campaign. They should experience this type of campaign as if it is part of their lives. What we are doing is borrowing from the world of entertainment. This is how we get more love back from the consumer.”
In this case, Wunderman Thompson in Bangkok created a seamless journey for the consumer from the Netflix film, to remembering and thinking about the dish in the film, to wanting it, buying it, trying it and then talking about it on social media.
“Creating conversations is the ultimate goal of every campaign,” he says. “This one was no different. We wanted to create conversations, but this campaign was also about experiencing the brand both in the store and at home. You eat the dish and share your preparation and consumption experience.”
Wannasiri points out that food is very important to Thai culture. “We love food. And we are super picky about it so it's not easy to tap into Thai food culture. But, in this case, we wanted a whole series of events to cascade from this campaign, and that is what happened,” he says.
The context for the campaign
The Netflix film was appropriately called ‘Hunger’. Wunderman Thompson worked with Netflix to figure out which brand should be partnered. The concept was from ‘film to table’.
It was all about bringing two areas of expertise together – filmmaking and food production – all facilitated through creativity.
“Collaboration is more important in advertising now than ever,” says Wannasiri. Consumers live in a single world with multiple experiences – of products and media – that take place simultaneously, so it makes sense to combine them in marketing. But it is for marketers to decide how best to combine them.
Although the experience for the consumer is seamless – effortless – the reality is that plates were spinning – expertly – behind the scenes. The sauce itself took six months to develop. It took another four months to integrate one client’s thinking with the other’s ambition. There was a lot to pull off.
“We had to orchestrate these two clients. We needed to get them aligned. This is how we ultimately made sure the sauce was everywhere – in every store. When creating this huge level of demand, while simultaneously promoting the film,” he says.
After three months, the sauce was sold out and Netflix realised its ambitions. “It was a success for Netflix, the owner of the content. The Hunger film skyrocketed. It became the number one film on Netflix overnight,” he says. “Partnering with Roza meant using a lot of traditional channels and Thais still consume a lot of traditional media.”
The outcome for Roza
While Netflix achieved its aims, for Roza, the outcomes could not have been predicted. This Thai food manufacturer brand experienced a steep climb in demand that had a major impact across its entire business and supply chain. This demand had a knock-on effect for its research and development, production, distribution and so on.
“It was like creating a new ecosystem for the brand,” says Wannasiri. “The outcome was more than just a campaign. The opportunity for the brand was almost limitless. This project – working with Netflix – showed Roza the sheer size of the space in which it can play going forward. There is so much more it can do with new products, manufacturing, distribution and so on.”
He describes this experience as a “journey of excitement and joy. This is the feeling you want consumers to have when you are building a brand. It is our job to do this and to build stronger partnerships with our clients and to benefit their businesses.”
07 August 2023
More in Experience
The Future 100: wellbeing, humanity, emotion and tech
This annual trend spotter – by WPP’s VML – gives us the context for the new normal for marketing in 2024.
Activating sports events – the ultimate balancing act
WPP Sports Practice takes a look at the art of timing for sports event activation
Healthcare marketing – the 2024 way
The harnessing of creativity, the advent of personalised medicine and the availability of AI tools are the new trends in healthcare marketing to watch, according to WPP experts