Stellar Advertising [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 30--Heartthrob TV star Jirayu "James" Tangsrisuk has created a new phenomenon in the Thai entertainment industry, making a name for himself almost overnight and securing a myriad of advertising contracts after he starred in only one soap opera.
He also set a record 14-million-baht advertising deal, possibly outstripping that of Nadech Kugimiya.
But many of us may wonder whether such expensive advertising is worth it and how big the return on investment is that lures advertisers to splash out such sums.
Although there are no official reports for such a return in Thailand, more companies from various businesses such as automobiles, mobile phones, snacks and beauty clinics are jumping on the bandwagon and paying presenters top money.
Marketing planners say it is worth using superstars to advertise products, as they can lure customers and help increase sales as well as boost brand image.
Considered a successful tool in advertising, presenters fees have increased sharply over the years.
While Advanced Info Service inked a 14-million-baht deal with Mr Jirayu, a star of the TV 3 series Supap Buruth Jutathep, True Move reportedly paid 7 million baht for another heartthrob, Mr Nadech, as its brand presenter.
The standard rate of 3-5 million baht is paid for popular presenters like Laila "Ploy" Boonyasak, Araya A Hargate and Patcharapa "Aum" Chaichuea for one TV commercial, according to sources from event agencies.
Showing up at an event for a product promotion will rake in 300,000-350,000 baht for 2-4 hours of a celebrity's time.
"This rate has increased from just 100,000 baht the celebrities charged several years ago," said a source.
"A brief appearance by Laila, Araya and Patcharapa may cost you nearly 200,000 baht per time."
Chalit Limpanavech, vice-president of the Thailand Marketing Association, questioned whether employing celebrities for advertising is worth it.
"There is no effective tool to prove if the payment is justified. They charge very high and I wonder if it is worthwhile," he said.
But Pollapat Junvimaloung, founder of Wuttisak Clinic Intergroup, the operator of Wuttisak Clinic, said he was very happy with the results after the firm employed Mr Jirayu as the company's presenter this year.
"James is a strong magnet to attract customers amid the fierce competition in the beauty clinic business," Mr Pollapat said.
The source said that given fierce market competition, with certain stars in high demand, the fee automatically rises because companies are willing to offer large sums to block others from using the same stars.
Piyawan Leelasompop, vice-president for marketing at Central Department Store Co, said superstars not only help build brand awareness among customers but also draw traffic to the store during promo events, boosting spending as well.
"One customer printed a picture from Araya's Instagram with her luxury bag and told our sales representative she wanted one of those," said Ms Piyawan.
But some business operators disagree. Tan Passakornnatee, founder of Ichitan ready-to-drink green tea, and Ittipat Kulapongvanich, founder of Tao Kae Noi seaweed snacks, believe they can promote their brands without the help of celebrities.
Mr Tan said his company's marketing costs are about 10 times lower when not using celebrities. Featuring himself as the presenter for the brand, he can get the same successful results and sometimes better than expected.
ICC International Plc, the marketing arm for fashion and beauty products under the Saha Group, has its own method. It joins hands with celebrities to co-develop products under superstars' names and sharing profits.
ICC has more than five superstars on its roster to produce their own brands, including Mai Charoenpura for Mai mineral water and Panadda "Boom" Wongpudee for false eyelashes.
(c)2013 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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