After the political unrest in 2009, 2010 in Thailand, The Tourism Authority of Thailand partnered with Leo Burnett Thailand and executed a national campaign, Hug Thailand. The 60-second spot went live on Thailand’s national television.
The spot’s both comforting and humorous message is meant to heal and wounds in the minds of Thailand citizens and encourage them to resume their domestic travels. It attempts to capture the beauty of Thailand and its loving people that hug the nature around them and that will also hug you.
This campaign is unique in that the nation branding is meant to be presented to the nation’s own citizens. Although I believe this campaign was more appealing than Thailand’s international nation branding campaign at that time, “Amazing Thailand,” I am not sure if this domestic campaign was an effective persuasion for Thailand’s wounded and tired citizens. For Thailand, changing the citizens’ opinion on the nation and the government would have been only possible through genuine interaction and dialogue between the citizens and the government (with a new culture). I doubt that with its communications-based approach, “Hug Thailand” was anything more than telling the people what the government wishes to hear them to think.