In Bangkok, gossip is only just now beginning on the street about the potential arrival of “official” Apple stores—the cool and ubiquitous minimalist presence we all know so well throughout the rest of the world. While there has been a Thai language Apple website online for several years, Cupertino has finally decided that Thai culture might be ready to embrace the bricks and mortar version.
It wasn’t always so. Since the company’s products first appeared there in the mid-2000s, Apple has operated differently in Thailand (and much of the rest of Southeast Asia) from anywhere else in the world, relying on entrepreneurial native resellers, Apple-educated and vetted, both to sell product and evangelize the Apple brand to an explosively growing middle class that had one foot planted firmly in the past even as it was leapfrogging the Industrial Revolution into the hyperdigital present.
This need to communicate more intimately with this brand new, rapidly-evolving audience led to the creation of iStudio, a premium reseller store concept (developed for Apple by our colleagues Whitespace in Bangkok) which was as brilliantly designed, sophisticated, and on-brand as Apple’s own stores but warmer, more familiar, more Thai.
We were brought in to warm things up even more and collaborated with Whitespace (under the watchful eye of Apple corporate) in developing a series of unique in-store promotions that, for strategic and demographic reasons, were permitted to diverge from the company’s global campaigns to better seed the brand in this burgeoning new market. The success has been phenomenal: today there are over 50 iStudio stores across Thailand.
Mac to School Almost all Thai students are required by their public or private schools to wear uniforms.
Think Green Apple approaches the environment as innovatively as they do their products and asked us to develop a promotion that would communicate that to an increasingly environmentally conscious Thai market in a fun, upbeat way.
Thinking Mac? This was a very successful promotion that used just a few simple components—a hanging mobile, a suite of three posters, and a cool cap for in-store staff—to increase customer interaction with both staff and products.
Warnings This was a cheeky little promo consisting of three oversized fluorescent posters. Positioned just outside store entrances, they were designed to increase walk-in traffic at satellite locations.
Pictograms A set of three in-store posters that used manipulated universal pictograms to communicate that Apple products can be used and enjoyed anywhere, anyhow, anytime.
Please Play This was the very first promotion we did for iStudio. It was designed to encourage new Thai customers—who are generally more reserved and hands-off than Westerners—to feel free to touch, interact with, and otherwise explore Apple products.