A beautiful and heartwarming TV advertisement which tells the story of a father learning to accept his trans daughter is getting worldwide praise.
The ad originally released in Thailand tells the story of Rock Kwanlada, first runner-up of Miss Tiffany Universe in 2017.
It quickly went viral getting 2.5 million organic views in the first 48 hours alone.
But within two months, it had sparked a nationwide conversation around gender and stereotypes. In those two month it got more than 37 million views in Thailand alone.
The video opens saying trans people ‘have come a long way in Thai society, but stereotypes are still dominant and family acceptance is still a major barrier’.
The four-minute ad charts the Kwandala’s story from a young boy who wishes he had long hair and watching his father berate him for being too feminine
Kwandala questions her own gender identity, realizing that being trans upsets her family.
‘Did you realize that being yourself will hurt the one you love most?’ she asks.
The ad also shows how Kwandala faced discrimination from society as she grew older. But she overcomes the odds to enter a major beauty pageant and come first-runner up.
Ad company Walter Thompson Bangkok made the heart wrenching ad for Unilever’s Sunsilk hair care range.
J. Walter Thompson Bangkok CCO João Braga, said the company auditioned more than 50 trans girls to find the right one for the ad.
The company also had two trans people involved in making the ad from day one so that the story was authentic.
‘We wanted to go beyond the ‘girl power’ approach, and saw an opportunity to spark a conversation that would involve not only Thai girls but also their trans friends,’ he told LBB online.
‘We did our research and confirmed what we intuitively guessed: every inch of hair is an important milestone in every trans (person’s) journey to womanhood.
He said that while trans acceptance has progressed in Thai society, there was still a long way to go.
‘Transgenders have come a long way in Thai society and have gained the love and acceptance of their girlfriends, but unfortunately the same cannot be said of their families,’ he said.
‘It’s still one of those subjects most families would avoid, forcing kids to lead an increasingly painful double life. On top of that, trans people are still very stereotyped in mass media and boxed into very narrow professional choices.’