Funny Thai TV Commercials – The Ghostbusters

This post which displays a funny Thai TV commercial combines two great aspects of Thai life which are probably recognizable to most expats and experienced travellers to Thailand, but maybe not so to others who frequent the Land of Smiles less so.

Thais have a deep, almost eerie fascination with ghosts but they also have a wonderful slapstick type of humour as well. And the funny Thai TV commercial which features in this post combines those two Thai traits very well indeed. It is also a wonderful testimonial to the artistic and imaginative work produced by Thai film companies and advertising agencies which have made these hilarious types of Thai TV commercials one of the world leaders in its field of funny motion picture adverts.

The YouTube video below has English sub-titles and you do need to read them to fully appreciate the storyline and humour behind this commercial. I won’t say what it’s advertising because that would ruin the plot, but I will attempt to set the scene.

A couple are picnicking with their young son but ghosts keep appearing and interfering with their cosy family day out. Most Thais get the jitters and break out in a cold sweat at the mere mention of a ghost or spirit but the couple and their son in this TV commercial display no fear at all. And the advert’s product revealed at the end gives a great explanation about why.

Funny Thai TV Commercials – The Ghostbusters

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I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

10 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    Martyn, I love this commercial because it’s soooo Thai! Ghosts are supposedly everywhere in Thailand, always needing to be considered and sometimes appeased. It’s fun.

  2. Martyn says:

    Catherine – I had a good chuckle at this one especially so because I hadn’t seen it before. I’m sure a lot of other people haven’t too. I’ve been trying to find out what year it was first broadcast but I haven’t had any luck there.

    I also like the commercial because it names a couple of the ghosts, Kra-sue and Kra-hung, that gives me plenty to research.

  3. kris says:

    Martyn…SIMPLY BRILLIANT!! I too have never seen this ad and yes, you are right, many funny yet good Thai ads. K

  4. Martyn says:

    Kris – Thanks for your comment and thumbs up on the ad. There’s loads more out there and some of them are very funny indeed.

  5. Ray says:

    Excellent idea for a blog post! I love the one where the kid asks if that’s the jackfruit ghost, but his dad turns around and says no, that’s a transvestite. I remember learning about one ghost which had a mouth the size of a pinhole and hands like palm fronds. I think the idea behind it was that if you didn’t honour your parents, you would turn into a ghost like that, and of course, with a mouth the size of a pin and hands like palm fronds it wouldn’t be very easy to eat. I usually see the subtle control mechanisms in these kinds of stories: take care of me son, or you’ll starve to death as a pin-mouthed palm frond-handed ghost. Ahhhh!!!

  6. Martyn says:

    Ray – Once again I’ve been intrigued enough by a comment (yours) to go off on a Google search: Thai ghost+tiny mouth.

    Here’s an extract from Sticky Wiki about Phi Preta (เปรต) which they explain is described in Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Jain texts:

    ‘Pretas are believed to have been jealous or greedy people in a previous life. As a result of their karma, they are afflicted with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object. Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as human corpses or feces, though in more recent stories, it can be anything, however bizarre.’

    Another site, which basically copied Sticky Wiki’s version bar a few added words, had this to say:

    ‘Others (pretas) may find food and drink, but have pinhole mouths and cannot swallow. For others, food bursts into flames or rots even as they devour it. Japanese hungry ghosts called gaki must eat excrement while those called jikininki are cursed to devour human corpses.’

    Thanks for a most interesting contribution to the post.

  7. Claire says:

    Im glad to read your blog, I have been talking about going travelling in thailand for a few months and my parents have not been keen on the idea, they think its totally uncivalized over there but they dont have a clue and are so old fashion. This type of thing is helping me sell them on the idea!

  8. kris says:

    SMEE again Martyn. I have just been watching a show from Australia Network called “The Gruen Transfer”. This is a half hour show with a host and 4 advertising executives. The opening theme of the show was this ad to which you refer. When asked “what was the ad selling?” None of the executives had a clue. Once told the answer, everyone loved it!!….K

  9. Martyn says:

    Claire – Good luck on your quest to educate your parents about Thailand and the modern civilization there. The truth is out there, you’ve just got to show them it.

  10. Martyn says:

    Kris – That is one amazing coincidence. It shows what a small world it is even for plasma TV’s.

    I’d never heard of ‘The Gruen Transfer’ before. It’s a strange title and its proper meaning is best explained by Sticky Wiki:

    In shopping mall design, the Gruen transfer is the moment when a consumer enters a shopping mall and, surrounded by an intentionally confusing layout, loses track of their original intentions. It is named after Austrian architect Victor Gruen (who disavowed such manipulative techniques).

    Good old Sticky Wiki.

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