BANGKOK: Thailand's famed “sad-vertising” may take a back seat as the country embraces social e-commerce and clearer measures of effectiveness, a local market expert believes.

The Thai ad industry has an affinity for long-form video formats with advertisers building on brand awareness through powerful emotional storytelling that is popular among Thai consumers.

However, Rob Hall, the former head of agency Lowe Profero in Thailand, believes that the pendulum will swing the other way for advertisers in 2016.

In an exclusive article for Warc, he said last year's flood of long-form emotional brand videos, underperforming social media content, and the rise of fraudulent online advertising practices have built a feeling among Thai clients and agencies that 2016 will be the year that reality bites.

Brands struggling with the country's economic slowdown are now looking to clearer measures of effectiveness and proven impact on business results.

A strategic shift to combat mobile click fraud and ad-blocking is likely to see the balance of media expenditure change for both multinationals and local brands.

Budgets will continue to see increased spend on digital and new media channels, with an integrated approach to media buying and optimisation, as brands align marketing plans across touchpoints. And native advertising is expected to play a role, as in neighbouring Malaysia.

Social commerce via mobile platforms is revolutionising how Thais shop, and this trend is set to continue. According to DAAT Thailand, a third of all e-commerce transactions in 2016 will be generated from Instagram, Line and Facebook – a key retail highlight.

Hall also anticipates an increase in short-form content this year. Thai hunger for humour/word play and entertainment content is driving the desire for plenty of short-form content as well – such as animated gifts and Instagram video.

“Popular short 15-second online ads like Krung Sri's Make Life Simple campaign are the perfect snack-sized, humorous content that thrives on Thai social media platforms,” Hall said.

Data sourced from Warc