Soft power a key part of national strategy as influencers fly the Thai flag
Soft power exercised by Thai influencers is playing a positive role in enabling Thailand to increase the value of its creative economy.
Promoting soft power is a part of the 20-Year National Strategy to boost the country's competitiveness in line with BCG – bio, circular and green – economic model.
The Culture Ministry is focusing on promoting the cultural creative industry in five aspects — foods, films, fashion, Muay Thai and festivals.
The first influencer who created soft power among people was Thai K-pop star Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban after her own music video "Lalisa" was launched in September last year.
In the music video, BlackPink’s only Thai member used various Thai elements, such as Thai dress and a background that looks similar to Phanom Rung Stone Castle.
Meanwhile, Lisa's remark, stating that she missed the meatballs in her hometown in Buriram province, caused sales of meatball retailers in the province to increase sharply.
Lisa's move to return home to celebrate her 25th birthday in March this year also caused her fans to flock to restaurants where she went, such as barbeque pork restaurants in Bangkok's Chokchai 4 Road and Brasserie 9, a French restaurant in Sathon district.
Another influencer who used soft power recently is Thai rapper Danupha "Milli" Khanatheerakul' who ended her set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California on Sunday by eating mango sticky rice.
Commanding the stage in a skimpy red outfit, Milli took a break from her twerk-heavy dance routine to grab a bowl and take a mouthful.
Line Man revealed on Monday that orders for mango sticky rice in Thailand had risen by more than 3.5 times after the hashtag #MILLILiveatCoachella became top-trending on Twitter.
Inspired by Milli's mouth-watering performance, the Department of Cultural Promotion says it will push for mango sticky rice to be listed as Unesco intangible cultural heritage.