Happy New Ears to You too Prudential

Ears to You Prudential

This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.

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Prudential is all ears in Bangkok…

In your taxi treks around Bangkok, have you come across the Prudential ears marketing campaign? Ever?

Ears I have (obviously).

And before this goes any further, I have a confession to make.

Not knowing how to tackle the mystery, but still wanting to know why, I sent the photo (left) to a guy with a serious talent for getting to the guts of any story.

My blogging buddy Talen, from Thailand Land of Smiles.


He wasn’t having any of it. Not any of my begging. My pleading. My promises of blog loyalty forever and ever.

“Just ask your readers”, says I.

Nope. Nadda. Nothing.

But the more I explained to Talen what little I knew about marketing in SE Asia, the more that subject caught my fancy.

Happy New Ear And now, more curious than ever, I decided to go for it myself.

I certainly thought the ad eye-catching, so I asked a few Thais what they though about Prudential’s ears. I did not receive a “this is too weird for me” reaction. I received a no-nonsense, “it is a marketing campaign”, type of response instead.

Darn. As that was not enough to fill a post, I headed out googling.

Google gave me even more of the Prudential ear theme:

The ‘Happy New Ear – Direct Mailer’ marketing campaign, launched with the opening of the PRU Call Centre by Prudential, won Silver Award in the Collateral Alternative Media category at the Thai Direct Marketer Association (TDMA) 2007 awards. Prudential was the only life insurer to win.

Happy New Ear? Hmmm?

You won’t find a lot of information about Prudential’s PRU Call Centre laying around, but at least I found that much.

And thinking… if feet aren’t a popular marketing body part in SE Asia, then out of the overused others – eyes and noses and pearly whites – ears really are a safe bet.


The Prudential ad in English…

Translating modern Thai has not been a priority for me (regular Thai is tough enough), so my Thai teacher translated the ad instead.

(and bless her heart, she is always willing to teach me a thing or two)

Along the top right of the ear:

ทุก ปัญหา คลี่ คลาย ได้ ด้วย การฝัง
túk bpan-hăa klêe klaai dâai dûay gaan-făng
All problems can be solved with listening.

And along the bottom of the ad:

พรูเด็น เชียล ประกัน ชีวิต รับ ฟัง แล้ว เข้า ใจ คุณ
proo den chian bprà-gan chee-wít ráp fang láew kâo jai kun
Prudential Life Assurance are willing to listen and understand you.

Prudential does not stop there with the ears. 2Bangkok has had a newspaper ad with the below blurb:

Prudential Life Assurance – If no one listens to you, we do.

Prudential’s ears on YouTube…

You don’t have to understand Thai to understand these Prudential ear ads on YouTube:

So there you go. The ears have it.
(is that bad, or what?)

Happy New Ears everyone.

11 thoughts on “Happy New Ears to You too Prudential”

  1. I’m with you there on the banks. My MIL just switched banks in December due to horrible service. She’s now quite happy, but… we’ll see.

    Happy New Year to you too Martyn! 2010 looks to be a grand year 🙂

  2. Catherine I still remember the fiasco of the ‘ listening banks’ in the UK last year. Good luck to Prudential but the banking system is one I listen to with caution nowadays. Somehow insurance and SE Asia doesn’t appeal to me that much.

    Happy New Year to you and thanks for all your support in 2009.

  3. Keith. Driving around BKK, you cannot miss them. They have now populated my area even (but not prior to my exit to the UK).

    Most are wrapped around phone booths, but not all.

    (and with all the Thais chatting on mobiles, I didn’t know that there was a market for phone booths)

  4. Keith, I was hoping that no one would ask me that…

    When I took the photos I was driving by in a taxi. No one in the taxi knew what they were about so I googled. I’m headed out tomorrow with the same taxi driver, so I’ll ask him and get back to you. Fingers crossed that I can get an answer.

  5. That’s sort of what I thought they were doing. Craziness. Totally. There is that other twist – businesses can support their economy or… not. Just think of all those kids who could no longer afford to spend their wages at MacDonalds.

  6. No, the drive through works on a speaker system sent to a headset inside…instead they sent the signal over phone lines to India. Didn’t last too long as they got lots of complaints.

  7. How does one farm out drive through windows to India? They have the window orders go TO India? Boggles the mind…

    My poor FIL in the UK had me call his bank as he couldn’t make heads or tails. He was 90 years old, hard of hearing. I was glad to help. But what I heard made me feel the same. The accent was too thick and he/she was talking rapid fire fast in a singsong way. Disaster…

  8. I remember years ago McDonald’s in the states tired farming out their drive through windows to India. I pulled into a McDonald’s at lunch time and an Indian woman was taking my order and we couldn’t understand each other…didn’t last long.

    It is a very eye catching design and who knows they may have done serious market research to figure out exactly what the Thai’s would understand…but I doubt it lol

  9. Talen, ‘knotted ropes through their ears’ hehhhhhh…

    Knotted ropes through the ears is an interesting but painful concept to contemplate. But none of the Thais I talked to had a problem with it, so there is that.

    I’m still stumped on their Thai call centre. Most of the UK banks have their call centres in India, and getting a decent conversation going is gawd painful. But a call centre in Thailand? How does that work? Sigh. Another mystery…

    I do agree though, that it is an eye-catching promotion. And I’m glad that I was able to notice it as such, and snap it quick as I went wizzing by.

    Happy New Y(ear) 🙂

  10. Cat, I still think the marketing team that came up with this promotion should be fired. The ad should read…

    “All problems can be solved with listening, and if they won’t listen pull knotted ropes through their ears” lol

    Will give them that it is an eye catching design so for that fact alone they get an A+


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