Culture

Five Ads That Prove Thai Life Insurance Commercials Are The Saddest Commercials Ever

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We need to talk about life insurance commercials.

Not the ones we have in Australia. They’re callous ads with hackneyed acting. And forget the American ads, 30-second chunks of Patrick Bateman with no emotion or memorable impact to do anything other than make more money.

People who know where it’s at know that Thailand has made amazing advances in life insurance commercials or, as I like to call it, uglycryology.

Thailand’s life insurance ads are a genre unto themselves, and can unleash tearducts quicker than a denial from an AFL club. They don’t just want to make you cry; they want you to ugly cry – the big heaving sobs of a child who has discovered Christmas has been cancelled and everyone has blamed her for a fart she’s sure her brother did. Oh, and the dog died. That kind of cry. Thai insurance companies want you at the point where it’s just you hyperventilating. About life insurance.

These commercials go straight for the feels, tear them out and tie them in a bow around a really cute kitten. A cute kitten who will eventually die. But not before teaching you something about life. Goddammit, come back kitty.

Where Thai life insurance commercials succeed is that they realise that fear isn’t the best incentive to buy an insurance policy. When people feel scared, they go into denial or defiance – as evidenced by anyone who compulsively lights up a cigarette during a Quit commercial.

Instead, Thai commercials sell their policies based on two sunny points:

1)     Your life is goddamn meaningless if you’re alone;

2)     Also, you and everyone you love is going to die.

Here are five of the best examples to have you howling for a simpler time, a time when you didn’t know that Thai life insurance commercials existed.

1. My Baby

Why are we born? TO CRY AT THAI LIFE INSURANCE ADS. Then die.

2. Mae Toi

What an inspirational woman. Sorry, inspirational dead woman.

3. Father And Son

The father learns a valuable lesson. Then dies.

4. Unsung Hero

But it’s not all bad. In fact, the latest commercial plunging viewers into a state of eerie post-ugly-cry-calm is amazingly upbeat and positive with zero fatalities.

You all waited for the kid to die, didn’t you? BUT YOU STILL CRIED.

And here is the ultimate, top-of-the-line, stomp-on-your-heart-and-kill-everyone-you-love commercial (which is also apparently a genre in Thailand’s wider advertising community):

5. Silence Of Love

Although I’m sure that someone in the comments section will claim to be unmoved because they are so unique and not at all predictable, if you don’t cry at these ads, it’s quite possible you’re either totally bereft of emotion or your name is Scott Morrison. I don’t know how to help you on either front. If you’re immune to the devastating emotional impact of life and Thai life insurance commercials, you’re quite frankly the sort of soulless automaton who is so empty of meaning that you’ve probably bought life insurance.

Why do they do it? Do policy sales skyrocket after these ads, or are the lines too jammed with people finally ringing their poor neglected parents (who won’t answer because they have polio or are in the middle of dying in a tragically-timed car crash or tumour-related incident)?

As someone with neither family nor life insurance policy, I had to make do with what I had around me and reached out to an animated gif to let it know it brought me joy. God, if only I had bookmarked that gif and visited more often. Why didn’t I cherish the time we had together?

I’ll never forget you, gif.

Amy is a Melbourne-based writer who enjoys politics, culture, social issues and the gentle art of sitting. Tweet her @_AmyGray.