Posts filed under ‘thailand’

A digitizing Bollywood? India’s first serial for mobiles

pp002bollywood-kaho-naa-pyaar-hai-posters.jpgJu (MindShare, Regional team) writes:

Hope you had a great refreshing holiday like I did and wishing everyone a superb year ahead!

I opened my inbox to find an interesting article on the distribution of content through mobile phones in India, forwarded to me by Alefiyah in MindShare Singapore who gave us the “Bollywood on Mobile” story last year. The article on the Hindustani Times, titled “India’s first serial for mobiles next month” featured another example of how Bollywood is capitalizing on digital technology to bring entertainment to the masses. Rajshri Productions, a major Bollywood production house, has created a “90-episode series, with three minutes per episode, … in the humour genre” offered to the audience via the mobile phone.

With the high penetration rate of mobile phones in the region, other developing countries in Asia-Pacific might want to keep an eye on India to see how the landscape for digital content and platforms will unfold. In the developing world, it is likely that India will lead in terms of creative ideas on producing content for new media like the Internet, mobile phones and mp3 players, given the population’s uniquely insatiable appetite for Bollywood fare.

The article reminds me a recent chat I had with a Thai security guard servicing one of my friend’s apartment in Bangkok. The guard (apparently an early adopter of trends, as my friend tells me) was trying out DTAC’s (a Thai mobile network operator) new GPRS promotion plan that offered a FREE mobile-internet-friendly Nokia phone bundled with 20 hours of downloads for 99 baht (about 3 USD). He was happily connected to the Internet with his phone through the mobile internet browser Opera, but he had one problem. He had no idea where to go to find any kind of entertainment on the Internet! I have a feeling he’d go for a Thai version of the mobile comedy series launching in India…

Read India’s first serial for mobiles next month on Hindustani Times. Thanks Alefiyah!

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January 2, 2008 at 11:22 am 13 comments

Asian youth and the mobile phone

Ju (MindShare, Regional Insights) writes:

mobilelife.jpgThe mobile phone has become an indispensible equipment for Asian youth. PwC’s 2007 survey of nearly 8,000 of their staff from 17 countries around the world (78% aged between 16-34 yrs) revealed a whopping 98% mobile penetration rate in Asia-Pacific countries, with a significantly lower 62% fixed-line penetration rate.

The first Asia Scout Network pan-regional summary report by MindShare is therefore dedicated to the mobile phone – how mobiles mold the lifestyles of Asian youth and vice versa.  Findings are based on updates on the Asia Scout Network blog from our city scouts in Tokyo, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Sydney, Shanghai, and Kuala Lumpur.

The headlines are:
1) Asian youth pimp their mobiles
2) Mobilizing communities
3) Japan’s contagious QR codes
4) Mobile multimedia gains momentum
5) Making ‘Hero’ features visible
6) What lies beyond

Download the full report:asia-scout-network-the-mobile-life.pdf

August 28, 2007 at 3:00 am 2 comments

Digital trends in Thailand, Asia-Pacific, and beyond

Peck (MindShare, Bangkok) writes:

PWC’s “Convergence Monitor” survey shows that Thailand has the one of the largest number of social networking (virtual networking and blogging) users in Asia, second only to China which has more than 85% of respondents having engaged in social networking at least once while Thailand has 71%.

Chatting, instant messaging, and downloading digital music are popular services among Thai internet users. 90% of respondents have used chatting or instant messaging at least once, and 87% have downloaded music through the internet at least once, expecting to see higher growth along with increase demand for broadband internet. However, online banking and online shopping are not as popular in Thailand as they are in other Asia Pacific countries. For example, while 39% of Singaporean respondents stated that they had used online banking and shopping at least once, only 8% of Thai respondents had done so.

Download the full report titled “Convergence Monitor: The Digital Home” here.

Examples of popular Thai blogs and blogging platforms:

www.bloggang.com

top-blogs.jpg

http://vip-galz.storythai.com/

blog-example.jpg

June 19, 2007 at 10:07 am 12 comments

As Streetwear Peaks in Bangkok…

street1.jpgJu (MindShare, Regional Team) writes:

“With a surfer’s business model, Harajuku aesthetic, and uniquely independent American attitude, the message of streetwear speaks to a global youth audience.”Theme Magazine, “X-Pollination of Streetwear”

At The Esplanade, another mall that has recently sprouted up in Bangkok, there is huge fenced-off, under-construction section that promised a space for Zoo York, Ed Hardy, Reef, Emily The Strange, and the likes of other such streetwear brands.

Streetwear is part of street culture, the definition of which is difficult to articulate and often subject to debate. On a superficial level, street culture is united through the elements of hip-hop, skate/surf culture, graffiti arts, print designs, and an obsession for limited editions. At its more meaningful core, it manifests the values of individuality, rebellion, sexiness, originality, freedom, and a sense of exclusive smallness, dressed up in a certain aesthetics, tone, music and attitude that only those ‘in the know’ can decode.

As I walked by that section at The Esplanade, I couldn’t help thinking of the principles of trend research, as a paper written eight years ago by Flamingo International on forward-looking trend research (Complacency Kills: Protecting Levi’s Cool Mindshare) articulates very well:

…one of the effects of skate culture, a culture both marginal and increasingly aspirational for the mainstream, has been the growth in non-denim workwear and combats, from brands such as Carhartt, Dickie’s, Homeboy, Stoopid. The Early Adopter credibility of these brands depends on their smallness, to the extent that once they become big they are left to the mainstream, as the leading edge goes off in search of more underground brands. The short lifecycle of these brands feeds into consumer perceptions that they can keep finding cool, new, small brands (indeed, smallness becomes a prerequisite for coolness and acceptability).

Assuming this, could the fact that these ‘underground’ brands now have a big, clear presence in a mall and are thus more accessible and recognized by the mainstream erode their ‘cool equity’ in the minds of Bangkok’s true leading edge youth?

As streetwear travels from its fringe origins with local Californian surfer Shawn Stussy in 1980, mutating and cross-pollinating around the globe (more on the journey of streetwear here), the type that eventually lands with a grand entrance at one of Bangkok’s latest shopping malls 27 years later is also likely to attract a mainstream group who buy more into the hype rather than into the lifestyle or the attitude of the brand. This risks chipping away at the brand’s youth credibility in the long run even as sales volume rises.

For any mass brand striving to become a part of youth’s ‘cool’ ground (or maintain it), it may useful to consider this ‘Early Adopter’ strategy put forth in Flamingo’s paper:

As a mass brand, in the sense that the brand enjoys high volume sales, it has been central… to retain cool mindshare by specifically not targeting the mainstream. As a brand which has to achieve credibility above all with the key 15-19 male target, it is essential that the brand be seen to be part of the target’s world, initiating trends from within, rather than merely ‘decorating’ that world. This means aiming ideally to stay ahead of the core target, but at least to match them…

….Media is not only chosen on the basis of penetration, GRPs, etc. Cool mindshare depends on…maintaining a discreet dialogue with the most opinion-leading core target: this means having a credible low-key presence in selected media… ensuring that opinion-leading youth feel they have access to communication coming from the brand which is less accessible to the mainstream.

June 18, 2007 at 3:58 am 1 comment

Economic Indicators – Thai Style

Paul (MindShare, Thailand) writes:

We’re always looking for those nuggets of information that give us insight into the future direction of an economy. Often the more traditional measures are too little, too late.

If you’ve worked in Thailand then you may have heard about the Mama Noodle Index. This states that as the economy declines sales of instant noodles increase exponentially, as people cut back on eating out & discretionary spending on food.

Read more here : http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/using-their-noodles/2005/09/04/1125772407287.html

Now we have another equally unusual but maybe very telling index. Gold shop robberies.

goldshop.jpg

Especially up country, traffic and turnover through gold shops is a useful economic barometer. Unfortunately in recent months, most of that traffic have been people looking to purchase on the “5 finger discount”.

Recent headlines:
Police concerned by near-daily robberies
Gold shops hunkering down– Wave of thefts has owners turning to everything from barricades to dogs
Police urge gold shops to tighten security

May 18, 2007 at 3:48 am Leave a comment

YouTube disappears from Thai Internet

David (MindShare, Bangkok) writes:

From today’s Bangkok Post:

Internet users reported on Wednesday that Thai authorities had blocked the popular website YouTube, over an insulting video of His Majesty the King.

youtubedisappears.jpg

Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, the minister of information and communication technology, told the Reuters news agency he personally ordered a block of the entire site from Thailand after the ministry’s attempts to block the offending page last week failed.

Full story at:

http://www.bangkokpost.net/topstories/topstories.php?id=117871
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/05/business/worldbusiness/05tube.html?ref=technology

April 5, 2007 at 6:11 am 2 comments

Loving the good-looking in Thailand

Linda (MindShare, Bangkok) writes: thaislookgood.jpg

While using the latest 3D data out for Thailand for brand planning, pitches, and so forth, we came across this interesting piece of news.

If Thais were to choose what would be the key factor of an ideal partner and they were only allowed to choose one, being good looking tops the list! (26% of the total population) What’s second and third? Being modest and being financially secure respectively. More ‘character’ traits like very moral, sense of humor, personality were voted for by about 10% of the population each.

No wonder there is such a big boom for the beauty business here in Thailand. Walk into a regular shopping mall, and you’ll see at least three beauty clinics for the latest quick fixes for your face and body…lasers, botox, collagens and I’ve already lost track of the latest technology. And the market for functional drinks that is really all about being skinny and good looking… I could go on and on.

I guess first impression do matter…fortunately for those who have the looks, they are definitely at an advantage in Thailand. But if you may be lacking thereof, for the gentlemen, you can probably get away with having the cash (women voted this as 2nd most important criteria) and ladies, if you don’t have the looks you still need a great body to be considered by the general Thai male.

Sad to say…what a superficial society we live in.

February 28, 2007 at 1:16 pm 6 comments

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