KRENGJAI and NUMJAI: A REFLECTION OF THAI SOCIAL MEDIA


Mid September 2010, Thai internet users have watched, shared, and criticized one clip posted on Youtube. A university professor who cannot resist the impolite habit of her student slammed his Blackberry to the floor. With a mix of and positive feedbacks, the clip was a massive hit, 1 million views in just a week. Right after then, it was revealed that the clip was actually a teaser promote new burger.

BB Clip

There are 2 aspects of Krengjai we could extracted from the ad, one is that the professor may be too Krengjai to tell her student to stop BBMing, until she went exceed her limit. Another is that the student in the clip is not Krengjai his professor at all, and that made a lot of people share this clip forward so their friends can see how someone should be penalized omitting Krengjai, which is still important for Thai culture.

A lot of marketers and advertisers tried hard to create an impactful viral clip, obviously this case demonstrates how easy it is to gain popularity if we start from something hidden in consumers’ mind. They may rarely say it out, but if someone do it for them, they will just pick it up and share it forward, immediately and to many people as possible. This looks very common for Thais Krengjai, not speak it out but ready to amplify the case.

It is also very interesting to monitor and see how this Krengjai culture will change into the future. We obviously see a lot of Thai people keep their mouth shut and provide no verbal comments or feedback to the customer service  officers, and later on anonymously posting their comments over the Internet. This definitely add one more line into marketers’ to-do list, to continuously monitor product and brand reputation over web forums and social media.

Besides, Krengjai, we spotted another Thai culture while monitoring the trending topics from Thai Twitter users. In the past one month, #Thaiflood is our most-used hash-tag, approximately four times more than the second-rank #Ch3.  This could reflect another angle of Thai behavior called  power of “Numjai”


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