Saturday, August 6, 2005

Tom Yum Swag

With Tom Yum Goong opening on August 11 across Asia, there is a massive marketing and merchandising push, possibly the biggest ever for a Thai film.

First of all, there's the cool popcorn-soda set you get at Major Cineplex and EGV cinemas. The bucket and cup have Tony Jaa's face from the movie posters, and the cup is crowned by a figurine of Tony giving the elephant-bone business to Nathan Jones. This is so cool!

Tony's face also is on Mama instant noodle cups (tom yum goong flavor, of course), so I'll have my eye out for that.

Thai mobile-phone operator Dtac is selling recharge cards with the movie poster images on them. Lucky me. Dtac is my operator, so another trinket to watch out for.

The movie itself is rife with product placement.

The most blatant and clever is for M150 energy drink, which is hawked by supercool Thai rocker Sek Loso. Early in the movie, during the long-tail boat chase, a boat crashes through an M150 billboard, just missing Loso's face. This establishes the image.

Later, on location in Sydney, (edit: a double for) the sunglasses-wearing rocker from the billboard steps out of a doorway next to Mum Jokmok, cracks open an M150 and guzzles it right down. It's hilarious.

While it gets the product placement out of the way, it also gives exposure to the pitchman who is making a major push to "go inter", bringing his brand of Thai rock to North America and England with an English-language album.

Mama noodles also find their way into the film, as does another sponsor, Thai Airways, which shows off one of its "Royal Barge" liveried 747-400's. Actually it's good to have this preserved on film, as the Royal Barge artwork -- a favorite of planespotters the world over -- is giving way to a new, less spectacular paintjob.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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