2 Minutes With …Thasorn 'Pete' Boonyanate, CCO of BBDO Bangkok

On growing up in the advertising world and the art of tapping into emotions

Pete is a storyteller, songwriter and film director with over a decade of industry experience across multiple categories and agency networks. He has handled campaigns for clients such as PepsiCo, Mercedes-Benz, Tiktok, Tinder, Smirnoff, Mars, Huawei and Samsung. Pete worked in Shanghai for two years, then returned to Bangkok in October 2017. Currently, he is a chief creative officer at BBDO's office there.

We spent two minutes with Pete to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Pete, tell us ...

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I was born and raised in Bangkok. I spent a little time soaking up the vibes in Shanghai, but now I'm back in Bangkok. 

How you first realized you were creative.  

During my early years as a student and with my mother working as a creative director, I had the opportunity to write a headline for her that actually ended up on a billboard. Witnessing my work come to life in such a tangible way was a pivotal moment for me. I owe a lot of my learning to her dedication to the craft. I vividly recall the evenings when she would bring home VHS tapes for us to study together. I would watch them meticulously, tape after tape, and gradually developed my own ideas and creative approach. 

A person you idolized creatively early on.  

One of my early creative idols was Suthon Petchsuwan, the founder and director of Mum. This guy was a total legend in the advertising world, making waves as an ECD at Lintas. An absolute genius! He's like a visionary of the new advertising era, on par with the legendary filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and his groundbreaking work in the New Wave movement. Suthon's contributions to the field have earned him widespread recognition and global admiration.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.  

At school, I entered my music video into a college competition and won. Out of the blue, people started talking about the work, despite its flaws. The shots weren't great and the effects were pretty lame compared to the other finalists. But it won because of the idea and concept. The video even landed me an interview on a TV show. That moment completely changed my life. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.  

In my younger days, I was a huge fan of The Beatles, Bee Gees, Chet Baker and many more. As I grew up, my taste expanded to include Radiohead, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys and a whole bunch of amazing artists. In fact, I've even started my own band called The MDCL (The Midlife Crisis). I will let you know once we release our first album!

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.  

I have several to share. TV Series: Succession, Euphoria. Book: What The Hell Are You Doing: The Essential David Shrigley, Blood Sweat & Tears by Pann Lim and Family.  Podcast: Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad, The Standard.

Your favorite fictional character.  

Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to The Future. I've lost count of how many times I've watched that film.

Someone or something worth following in social media.  

Satan on Twitter.  

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.  

One of my favorites took place during the pandemic. It involved a situation where my largest client had to cancel the biggest project of the year. While bemoaning this, one of my colleagues and I discovered that my client was spending money to help the Thai community. They gave away $200,000 worth of free masks and more. So, I made a film without a budget to say thank you, and shared it on my personal Facebook page, and it went viral. 

A recent project you're proud of.

One of our most recent projects is "My Parent Is a TikToker" by Five Star. We took over channels and invited grandparents and even somebody's mother to become TikTokers. We taught them the tricks of the trade, but with a surprising twist.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

Early in my career, I was greatly inspired by the work of a Japanese agency called Party Tokyo. Their combination of tech and creativity was phenomenal. My favorite project of theirs were Sour Mirror, an interactive music video that mirrors your social life.

There's also "Narita International Airport - Terminal 3," where they designed an airport like the Olympics. Their former founder and creative director Naoki Ito is also amazing, with his talent and vision. 

Someone else's work you admired lately.  

I also love the work "Newspaper Inside the Newspaper" by AnNahar and Impact BBDO. The bravery of their client, coupled with the excellent idea and execution, truly stood out to me. It's definitely worth watching. 

Your main strength as a creative person. 

My deep passion and ability to tap into emotions. I bring genuine enthusiasm to every project. This fuels my creativity, drives me to explore meaningful experiences that connect with audiences and motivates me to push boundaries. 

Your biggest weakness.  

Interestingly, my biggest weakness is also being full of passion and emotion. While it drives me to create impactful work, it can sometimes make it challenging to detach from projects and ideas.

One thing that always makes you happy.  

Paul, my son.

One thing that always makes you sad.  

Thai politicians.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.  

I'd be a rock star, performing concerts on Mars!  

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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