With the rapid outbreak of the Coronavirus or COVID-19, people
around the world – including Thailand have had to harshly
change their ways of life.
As the result of the sudden explosion of this contagion, people
are forced by public and private sectors guidelines as the
closure of public and common spaces; shopping malls,
restaurants, educational institutes and offices; to shelter at
home as part of the lockdown policy.
Our article aims to collect reliable and up-to-date information
from both economic outlook to behavioural changes of
consumers, and their impacts - specifically for Thailand.
Then, to analyse and provide a report that includes fruitful
guidelines for Thai marketers, advertisers, and brands to deal
with the situation.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude's to all the
person-in-charge; from GroupM Global Intelligence to our
media and research partners; from the TH EXCO members to
the agency representatives from Mindshare Thailand,
MediaCom Thailand, Wavemaker Thailand, Xaxis Thailand,
GroupM Platform Services, INCA, and more to mention for your
Source: WorldOMeter (as of April 7, 2020)
AND IT KEEPS
incremental of reported
cases across the world
within just three weeks.
on March 23
on April 6
Source: WorldOMeter (as of April 6, 2020)
on March 19
THE COGTAGION TIMELINE
“AS IT IS” SITUATION
Number of Cases
Patients at Hospital
Source: Prachachat Turakij
Two sceneries being predicted by the Faculty of Medicine,
Siriraj Hospital – Mahidol University; one for city/country
shutdown; another, as it goes.
CHANGES IN THAI ECONOMY OUTLOOK
Source: NESDC, Macrobond, Financial Times, and Bank of Thailand (2020)
Thailand’s GDP forecast
has changed from 3% to
Trade and international
business with China and
other markets are
experiencing with risks.
is in the
Traders are suggested to
hedge the currency risk to
reduce negative effects
from an uncertainty of
Export businesses will be
facing difficulties due to
this rapid unexpected
THE FALLS OF
OF THAI BAHT
CHANGES IN THAI ECONOMY OUTLOOK
INDEX IS DOWN
It was reported at 64.800 Point in
February 2020. This records a decrease
from the previous number of 67.300
Point for January.
Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index
data has an average point of 78.5 from
October 1998 to February 2020.
Source: CEIC DATA, Ministry of Tourism & Sports
Tourism industry of
Thailand has an average
inbound travellers per
month at 3 million.
Anyhow, the result showed
that in February the
number was dropped to 2
Source: Deloitte (2020)
The fear of Coronavirus
outbreaks has caused to the
restrictions of travel, the
closure of borders, as well as
major cities lockdown.
These will significantly affected
to the following domestic
products and services
As of March 30, Phuket –
known as 2nd largest
has announced its closure
until April 30.
Demand dropped due to
the loss of consumer
confidence and need of
Automotive & Accessories
Bakery & Biscuits
Credit Cards & Financial Services
Jewellery & Luxury Goods
Travel & Tours
The lockdown &
Beauty, Skincare & Cosmetics
Fashions & Apparels
Food Outlets & Retail Shops
HH Products, Food, Snack & Dairy
Oil, Lubricants & Petrol
Outside Entertainment - Cinemas
Personal Accessories, Hair Prep. & Toiletries
Tech. & Telco. (including Devices)
F&B Delivery Services
Cleanser, equipment, insecticides, Seasonal Products,
Food Stuff, Dairy Products, Vitamins, Supplementary & Pharma
CONSUMER’S SENTIMENTS & CENCERNS
OF CORONAVIRUS SITUATION.
Source: Kantar (2020)
Be more proactive
52% Worried about
40% Making panic
THE THAIS ON
Upon the rumour on the announcement of the Emergency Decree,
supermarkets and shopping malls were crowded by panic consumers to
work on stock up.
IMPACT ONTHE THAI WAYS
Source: Kantar (2020), GroupM Thailand Intelligence (2020)
THE ARRIVAL OF CORONAVIRUS
HAS NEGATIVELY IMPACTED
TO THE THAI, IN TERMS OF
HEALTH & FINANCIAL
Without a clear explanations or
directions from the person-in-charge,
people will be more and more concern
about their own safety and money.
IN THE NEED
From the SARS
Source: Kantar Worldpanal (2020)
The buying behaviours of
consumer back then.
The Panic Purchase
The Stock Buying on
Long-life Food Items
What consumer intends to
The Search/Need of
Home Cleaning Behaviours and
What consumer are not
intend to buy.
Meat & Seafood
shopping trips in
comparing to the
similar period of
BANGKOKIAN ARE MORE CONCERNED AND PREPARED
FOR THE IMPACT.
Number of search for insurance packages or programmes that fit to the
situation has dramatically increased like never before. The similar trend
goes to monetary, whereas food and healthcare remain at the same levels.
Source: Google Trends (March 30, 2020)
OF HEALTH &
Source: Wisesight (March 19, 2020)
CHANGES IN THAI CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
Source: Google Trends (March 25, 2020)
THAIS DO KEEP OUR EYES ON THE SITUATION OF
CORONAVIRUS, THEN COVID-19 MORE THAN ANY
OTHER STATE OF AFFAIRS AS PM2.5.
Thought the terms COVID-19 was firstly introduced by WHO on
February 11, Thai media started to apply the term in March. Since then
the number of search has been dramatically increased ever.
The higher of number of news is spreading, the greater search volume.
INTRODUCING A NEW
OF STAYING HOME.
Source: Google Trends (March 30, 2020), GroupM Thailand Intelligence (2020), Kantar (2020)
THAILAND SEARCH TRENDS
(Promotion & Online Marketplace)
THE LOCKDOWN, QUARANTINE, WORK
FROM HOME – WHATEVER TERMS; REVEAL
THE REAL PLEASURE OR TIME KILLER OF
The activity of going to shops and buying
things or ordering them online.
WFH is not just about working but
spending my precious time searching
(and buying) things 24/7 without any
It doesn’t matter whether or not it is a
weekday or weekend, 08.00 – 19.00
became surfing utopia for Thais for online
Apart of Lazada’s Birthday Sales on March 27, the
demand of search for online promotions, discounts,
and marketplace remains high from 08.00 to 19.00. Demand on F&B online buying index has
been increased gigantically at 116% - this
also reveals a new behaviours of Thais.
THAILAND SEARCH TRENDS
Source: Google Trends (March 30, 2020), GroupM Thailand Intelligence (2020)
FIRSTLY, SIMPLY FORGET ABOUT THE MYTH OF
BEING BEAUTIFUL MUST BE OUTSIDE HOMES.
Search volume describes the high demands of
beauty and skincare products over the
As most of the offices have started to implement
their WFM from the week of March 24, search
demand for beauty and cosmetics always hit to
roof – especially on weekdays.
“I will never ever reveal my true-
naked face over concall. Without
make up I would rather shut off
“You will never can tell if there
will be an unexpected facetime or
call – at least foundation powder
and lipstick must be on while
“Beauty is an essence of women. It
shows your identity and how you
live your life. Everyday, when I get
bored during the WFH, I simply
dress up, put on make up walk
around and shoot pictures for my
Source: The Nation (March 2, 2020), Sanook (March 21, 2020)
FOODS & BEVERAGES DELIVERY SERVICES
ARE THE NEW NORMS.
FROM PM2.5 TO EMERGENCY
DECREE ON CORONAVIRUS,
MOST OF RETAILS, SMES &
LOCAL BUSINESSES HAVE
ADOPTED THEMSELVES TO
DELIVERY PLATFORM OPTION
THE RISE OF
With an encouragements from the
governments and media that ask people to
stay at home. The order of goods, foods
and beverages from digital platform as
Lazada, Shopee, Grab, foodpanda and more
have grown up by 80%.
According to the new behaviours and
effects, it is expected that food delivery
business in Thailand for 2020 could grow
by 31% with a total value of more than
SHIFT IN TV VIEWERSHIPS.
SELF-ISOLATION CREATED A DRAMATIC IMPACT
ON TV VIEWERSHIPS AND AUDIENCES, ESPECIALLY
AFTER THE EMERGENCY DECREE AND LOCKDOWN.
Comparing to the PM2.5 period, while the Thais are still living outside,
situation from Coronavirus helped grow TV viewership over
entertainment and news programmes.
Don’t forget to count on the live streaming videos and programmes too!
Source: Nielsen (2020)
Source: AdWeek (2014), Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, The Standard (2020)
The Grandeur Scale
a person, especially a man, who is
admired by many people for
doing brave or good.
brand as hero
effective in the
can be exception
Here are some of
their decisions or
actions on the
Free Production of
surgical mask for Medical
Use its facilities to
manufacture to produce
hand sanitisers for EU.
Apply its facilities to
ventilators per month for
Utilise its logistic
expertise for the smooth-
distribution of coronavirus
To invest Baht 100m for
the establishment of
surgical mask factory for
During this difficult period of
time of the Coronavirus
outbreaks. Instead of seeing
brands or business trying hard
to be survived, there also be an
incremental of initiated social
contributions projects or
programmes – the being a
good person/brand for a
cause to support or help those
who are in needed.
These actions can be found
from various types of
businesses; from personal to
Celebrities and well-
known icons started to
unlock their social
media channels -
small businesses to
promote their stores
or to sell their products
Local small and
now offer free product
or services as free food
for people, whose jobs
were cut during the
An estimated of 10.7
million of Thai
expected to be facing
with the job-cut or
– Krungtep Turakij.
Large and international corporates started to come up
with special programme(s) to engage with their
customer as providing free services, giving extra
access or convenience to special-needed customers.
Some brands or businesses have tried to switch their
product lines to something that suits to the situation.
“ “ “
Source: Kantar (2020)
Negative Impact What’s the New-New
69% 61% 59% 50%
Refuse to go
– no more
eat out &
52% 44% 38%
freq. of food
The Fads for
personally, professionally and
Healthcare & Nutrition
personally & family
THE CORINAVIRUS OUTBREAKS IN THAILAND
Entrusted products, services, and representatives with a
promise on the health and wellness security that worth for
Source: Kantar (2020), GroupM Thailand Intelligence (2020)
Foods & Beverages
The cleanliness, hygienic, and the safety on the ready to eat
product. Also, the service-mind of the staff, including delivery
Product safety and the hygienic for the use,
Beauty, Health & Wellness
The promise of the product on its safety, along with the end
results that truly reflect to the purposes from the purchase –
including the sense on value for money.
Entrusted product, services, and behaviour of frontline staff –
including call centre personal, the time to be consumed on the
app, or website. Most importantly, the security while using the
FOR BRANDS &
MARKETERS IN TH.
The utilisation of available knowledge from other markets. For a long-
term business solution, the benchmarking of market as China can be
guideline and example for the settlement of situation.
In contrast, short-term planning strategy – as worst case can also be also
be brought from the affected network as Italy or Europe in order to
prevent unforeseen and be prepared for unexpected situations.
It is crucial for brands, marketers, advertisers, and all internal and external
stakeholders to explore more on the opportunity to add extra value(s)
to products and services that influence to consumer’s way of life. This
would create familiarity and trust to the loyal customers.
On top of that, marketers will need to understand that Coronavirus is an
unusual situation; apart of acquiring top-of-mind position and number of
sales, it is a must for the brand to keep its positive look, to act as trusted
thought leader as well as to be able to provide an instant, but proper
feedback to consumers.
Advertisers and marketers are responsible to be rejuvenated about the
situation. As of now, regulations and conditions on the coronavirus is still
uncleared – Thai consumers keep their eyes open and update 24/7 via
various types of media consumption; through-the-line to in short.
Therefore, brands must also be alert and ready to adjust their strategies
to align on whatever situations that may come, especially to the major
events - this includes the readiness to adapt creative assets or
communication messages to an unexpected (aka the plan B – for
example, the cancellation of the 2020 Summer Olympics).
GROUPM TH POV
ON SPECIFIC CATEGORIES.
Automotive Real Estate Travel
Tourism & Hospitality
The 41st Bangkok International Motor Show 2020 has
been postponed from its original schedule twice;
from March 25 – April 5 to April 20 – May 3, then May
18 – 31.
In contrast to the drop of patrol cost, it is forecasted
that demand on motors will be lower than the
previous years, this is due to the economy situation
and the cashflow of consumers – for such unexpected
situation, it is more crucial to save money.
Most of new and current projects are on pause that
caused by the loss of purchasing power and
confidence from both local and overseas investors.
Majority of Thai consumers would prefer to save their
money for unforeseen.
Constructions also be on hold due to the lack of
material. It is reported that 90% of Chinese steel rod
has stopped their production lines.
The outbreak of Coronavirus has break the record of
the lowest demand on tourism and hospitality
from the drops of both inbound and domestic tourists
to the corporate policies to cancel all business trips;
and from the suspension of flight-operations to the
lockdown public policies..
Apply digital as communication vehicle, specifically – the use of search that will generate meaningful leads from those
who currently have demand.
Provide outstanding offers that engender the conversion rate and sales.
As the lockdown situation is still on, it is impossible for
property seeker to go out for on-site inspection, video call
or video introduction can be an alternative win-win
Supports from public and monetary policies on property
buying’s will definitely encourage more demands.
Stop. Think. Ask.
Stay calm and listen to your customers as unexpected
situation always come up with emotions and reactions
– this includes active social listening.
Be transparent with solid solutions while providing
feedback or response.
As for marketing communication, all related activities
to the brand and demand creation shall be on hold,
and must be switched to corporate communications.
Sincere Corporate Social Contributions and
Responsibilities (CSR and CSC) are key for the
situation as Coronavirus pandemic or other crisis's.
Skincare & Cosmetics
HH Products & Food Stuff
Lockout and announcement of emergency decree
does not really matter to the categories – as
consumer goods, household products and food stuff
are considered as basic requisites for living.
In short, these products are needed to be used by
consumer on their daily basis.
Most of product are still available through the various
type of marketplaces; digitally to physically.
Remain the same volume of communication to boost
up demand and to ensure the availability of products
(no out of stock surprise) – this is to avoid future
panic purchase. Apart of digital, do not under
estimate the power of TV at this stage.
On top of regular communication, brands need to
highlight the quality of the product and its effects to
Contents as the know-how will help inspire the home-
stayer novices to enjoy life at home; by cooking and
Brand will need to ensure its strong collaboration with
logistics/eCommerce partners for a good customer
Similar to beauty and skincare categories, sachet
marketing is another opportunity.
Announcement of emergency decrees, city lockdown, and work from home situations have blocked consumers to go
out, explore, and enjoy regular in-store shopping experience. The lockdown seems to be a bigger deal for females and
LGBT as beauty care services providers as salon, nailcare, or body care are all closed.
Female consumers may need less makeup while work at home, however, our insights shows that female are still
concerned on their looks and images. While working on video conference, they will definitely put on make up, one
insightful behaviour is that they will dress up, take picture and post on social media as boredom killers.
Also, results from Google Trends shows a high volume of search for beauty and fashion throughout the working
hours – which is an opportunity.
There are opportunities for brands; to create branded
content on body sanitising and cleaning; also,
transformation challenges during the lockout period.
Local convenience stores can be the other opportunity
– sachet or small portion will also draw attentions from
urbanites, who’s smaller purchasing power.
As consumers have more time to consume various types of media while working at home; from online to offline.
At this time, we can say it is the returns of TV – with the rise of news and entertainment programmes.
With this opportunity, marketers should not ignore to create awareness as well as familiarising their brands via
TV and always-on across online platforms – as people will normally surf the Internet via their interests, specialities
Use of eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, and search will capture attention, and generate leads to the point of
sales. Special offers, promotions & affiliate model will help generate sales by boosting up consumer’s final
Apart of joining promotion war on eCommerce, re-targeting (once it comes to the end of cycle usage) is
recommended, Also, this is the time for marketers to explore new opportunity that encourage trial.
For fashion brands, inspiration contents while
WFH or trick and tips on social distancing
relationships will definitely bring in massive
The use of recommendations from local
influencers and the how to order is also a plus.
& Food Outlets
Tech. & Telco.
Similar to the other categories that require physical
stores – QSR and Food Restaurants businesses are
facing a new challenge on how to keep or encourage
customer for delivery services instead of a traditional
In this case, QSR may have a greater delivery know-
how – comparing to ordinary restaurants.
Travel condition is the key barrier for customer to
visit banking, tech & telco; both stand-alone and in-
Thanks for today’s modern technology that provides
contactless and online one-stop-services as mobile
application and website as options.
For QSR – continue keeping on the standard of
delivery in all aspects; quality, times, call centre and
Affiliation with delivery platform/services is a new
normal that allow service expansion & coverage to
reach consumers, who have demand.
TV and Search are recommended to sustain brand
visibility, especially to search – which serves toward
the right demand of consumer.
Big offering or undeniable discount voucher might be
an option to bring back guests to the store once the
situation is settled.
Cleanliness and hygienic can also be key point of
communication to create trust.
Brands in these categories may convert their point of
services into digital one-stop-service and put it as
highlight – allow customer to enjoy the tech
experience as cashless. In order to apply this, the
brand must be ensured that the use of digital
technology will be as simple as possible.
For tech & telco. the use of eCommerce or other
online marketplace with entrusted logistic
partner/system is a plus.
There should also be a channel that allow customer to
reach the real “Human-to-Human Communication” as
traditional as call centre or as digital as virtual meeting
– to avoid unexpected, especially on banking category.