As one of Thailand’s leading pre-paid sim card services, Total Access Communication PLC’s Happy brand aims to increase the number of its Facebook fan page and raise awareness of its new sim card promotion, “2499”, to its key target aged 13-24, from school students to first time jobbers that comprise 70% of its consumer base. With over 16 million Facebook users in Thailand, the social network continues to dominate among the youth by 33.4%. How can we raise awareness of yet another promotion on the social network? With a simple and appealing idea we create a Facebook application that rewinds your Facebook back to the former glorious days of 2499 (in Thai solar calendar, corresponding to the year 1965 in Western calendar). The 2499 Facebook application questions the audience to see what your Facebook will look like in the era where mafia gangsters were all the rage. Think of a retro photo booth that styles your photos in the form of old fashioned portraits, only with Facebook where all your conversations with friends are now in old language.
Media consumption has since shifted from traditional channels such as television and radio to the social network. The younger generation has been infiltrating the social network, constantly online with friends, discovering new things, and sharing content with friends further supporting the 400% YOY growth in regards to Thailand’s Facebook usage. With each new digital application, there are always a few trends that Facebook users cannot wait to try and incorporate on their Facebook. One of the trends they revisited, thanks to Happy, was taking the classic Facebook page with an upgraded twist and giving it a turn-of-the-century Thailand feel during the period of gangsters, mafia, and crime. With just one click and easy playing, your friendly Facebook is snapped like a camera into a ruthless front page cover with the design all produced in old Thai text in the layout of an old newspaper. As an added bonus, your names and comments are scripted into antique writing that makes you feel as if you belong to an influential gangster family.
If you’ve ever wondered what Facebook looked like in 1956, this is your application and Happy is the first in the country to put forth a fantastical application that travels back in time. The promotion package is 24 satangs (cents) per minute out of 1 Thai baht ($0.032!) for those who are part of the ‘gang’, meaning calling within the same network. For calls to ‘outsiders’ i.e. to other sim card services, the price is charged at 99 satangs. In order to execute this, the 2499 campaign kicked off a week after the launch of its 30 second spot TVC promoting the new sim card, which can be viewed here. Fans could not wait to try 2499 once it was officially promoted only through Happy’s fan page here becoming an instant viral sensation from tagged sharing. Online influencers could not get enough the application spreading the name of the application through their online channels, namely Facebook and/or Twitter.
Since its launch, the Facebook application deserves special mention and the results were even better than the brand anticipated. Within 10 days, the campaign reached the masses with a bang cementing 2499 as a dangerous hit:
- Total applications installed: 136,386
- Total new fans recruited from the application: 71,500
- 87,480 accumulated users talking daily about the application
- 70,000 accumulated new likes daily
- Within one month, total number of fans increased from 247,252 to 331,287
The wonderfully executed application that has never been done before ensured that the younger generations got the best of the 1950’s giving their Facebook major mafia cred without being old crooners. No one has ever implemented an old school Facebook application before in Thailand. Undoubtedly there are copycats that appear with such innovative applications. Among the copycat applications, the Ramayana Facebook stands out, some even going far as saying it is a direct replica of the 2449 application, link here. This Ramayana application applies the same concept with 2499, however, back to a much older era, a testament to the success of the original retro application invented by Happy.