In Thailand, ghosts aren’t relegated to ancient burial grounds or campfire stories — they’re a vital part of the culture. And it’s not just folklore: After the tsunami that wrecked much of southern Thailand in 2004, John Burdett wrote a New York Times piece about the Thai people’s concerns not only with rebuilding but with the sudden onslaught of ghosts. With the membrane between the spiritual and the everyday so thin, it’s not surprising that the otherworldly might also slip into Thailand’s television ads — or, as in this spot for Sylvania lightbulbs, come loudly, brashly, and bizarrely tramping in to dominate the screen.
The ad features a variety of strange but specific and real (well, they’re real in Thailand) ghosts that disrupt a family’s picnic. It’s half a commercial, half a vivid primer on Thai folk eschatology, and unlike anything you’ll see in a Western ad. But that’s why we have the Internet, right?
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