Planet Unruly: Shifting From Social And The Rise Of Programmatic In Thailand

The advertising industry in Thailand is on the rise, overall adspend grew by 38% in two years from 2017 to 2019 and this year it’s expected to rise by a further 12%.

Neeranuuch Pairoj, Unruly

To address this growth, Unruly opened a new office in Bangkok, Thailand, towards the end of last year. We caught up with sales director Neeranuch Pairoj, who heads up operations in the region, to find out what she’s been up to and to give some insight into the Thai ad market.

Q: What draws you to the type of work you do?
I’ve always had a passion for digital and knew from a young age that I wanted a career in the digital industry. When I finished studying, I managed to secure my first role at web giant Tencent in Thailand, which was an amazing opportunity and gave me a lot of exposure to the county’s digital landscape. Before coming to Unruly, I worked for a number of digital agencies, an ad network and a mobile and programmatic trading desk.

Over the years, I’ve found I enjoy building real relationships with my clients. I don’t believe in hard selling products or services, rather I try to understand the needs of my clients as well as their goals and objectives. From there, sincerity and trust are important factors. If you aren’t sincere to clients, you might get the first sale but they won’t continue to work with you afterwards.

Q: Tell us something interesting about the Thai market.
Most brands and agencies in Thailand still heavily focus their advertising on Facebook and Google. While these platforms have a role to play in the marketing mix, the message we communicate to advertisers is they also need to consider other platforms. Although social media is very popular, it’s not the only place where Thai people spend their time. In order to reach a good variety of potential customers, brands need to advertise across different environments.

Unruly has some amazing case studies of businesses that have had tremendous success by diversifying their advertising efforts. These really help demonstrate to clients out here just how many more potential customers you can reach by expanding your advertising reach.

Interestingly adspend in Thailand on desktop still outways mobile at 60% vs. 40% and it doesn’t look set to change anytime soon with prediction figures showing just a 2% rise in mobile adspend come 2023.

Q: What’s the programmatic scene like in Thailand?
Like many other places in Asia, programmatic trading is growing at an exceptional rate. There is currently a 68:32 split between programmatic and managed service, with programmatic expected to keep on growing over the coming years.

While key agencies have launched their own trading desks, brands are more concerned about collecting and measuring data and learning how to apply it to new ad campaigns to help them achieve better business metrics.

Q: Tell us about something you’ve learned while working at Unruly.
Unruly is a multinational company, made up of people from across the world who come from completely different cultures and backgrounds. Because of this, mannerisms and work styles vary from market to market and even from person to person, so it can take a while to get used to how different people work.

However, Unruly is like nowhere I’ve ever worked before. Our values of Deliver Wow, Inspire Change and Share the Love are ingrained in the company culture and, although we’re spread across the world, whenever I meet or speak to other Unrulies, there’s a sense of familiarity and a feeling that we’re all part of one big extended family on a mission to change advertising for the better.

Q: While we’re on the topic of advertising, do you have a favourite ad?
‘Silence of Love’ by Thai Life Insurance is one of my favourite ads as it demonstrates how important family is — and for me, my family is everything! The ad tells the story of a father’s love for his daughter and reminds us not to take our loved ones for granted.