Advertising in Thailand: Don’t forget the elderly – they’re the ones with ‘influence’

Brands looking to stay relevant or increase their footprint in Thailand should look to the silver-haired generation as much as Millennials, a new study has found.

Thailand’s elderly population wants to be ‘trendy’ – photo by Primal

Rather than passing their time playing board games in retirement homes, the kingdom’s elderly are among some of the most socially active in Asia – and are “clearly the influencers” in a family unit.

The report, commissioned by Craig Griffin, of the Bangkok-based research agency Fuel, and AI.Agency’s Dave McCaughan, found the majority of elderly Thais were likely to use the Japanese social messaging app LINE as a means of communication.

While the elderly were less likely to use LINE for e-commerce than their younger peers, the group will use the app to send ‘Morning Greeting’ stickers and watch YouTube videos in a bid to appear a “trendy and updated person”.

On average, senior citizens surveyed used LINE daily to contact with their friends and family for approximately 30 minutes each session.

Assessing the effects of this trend for marketers, the report stated: “In Thailand, senior citizens are clearly the influencers for the whole family. They love to share what they know to their children, siblings, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

“With the advent of LINE, especially the use of LINE group chat, Thai families are brought closer together, with the elders at the heart of it.’

“Brands should help make the elders feel that they are still relevant and important to the family by using LINE to provide easier sharing services and reminders to family members to interact with their older parents and other relatives.”

The report cited Knorr’s campaign, which saw a number of  recipes and cooking classes published on LINE and YouTube as a successful example of tapping into the family elders.

According to a 2017 United Nations report, Thailand now has more senior citizens than children and the demographic is predicted to reach 17.6 million – 26 per cent of the total population – by 2030.



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