I can only speak from my own experience, so this will be very video production centric and keep in mind it was much easier for me and my business partner because we both have Thai citizenship but here’s the story of how Fat Mango Videos came about.
In 2013 I was on an internship in a branding agency in Bangkok. At the time I was studying hotel management at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne. I knew I wanted to do something a little more creative than hotel operations but I hadn’t quite figured out what that would be exactly. Towards the end of my internship, the branding agency was working on a big TV Commercial project and naturally I was excited by this and asked to visit the set and see how things are done on productions.
My first impression was definitely one of awe. I was surprised by how much time and effort went into every shot. I was excited by the whole idea and definitely felt a sense of ‘movie magic’. I guess that’s kind of why anyone in the production world would slave 14 hours straight for days on end. So I started asking around a bit how much this whole production would cost and people were telling me ridiculous sums – edging towards 7 or 8 million baht (without the tv broadcasting fees) and I thought that was totally insane and not the way things would be done in the future.
Growing up as the internet was maturing, I think it was a natural instinct for me to try and see how I can see TVCs moving over to social media platforms. There wasn’t much to the idea but this is where my business partner comes in. We would create fun little holiday videos together in Phuket, whenever we went back to visit our families (we were childhood friends and grew up going to international school together in Phuket) and post them on facebook for our friends to enjoy. He is a very talented videographer and editor So I spoke to him and asked, what if we make small social media based videos for companies in Phuket and get paid for them. He said yes.
So we finished our university degrees the next year and started Fat Mango 2 months after graduation. It was a fairly simple process for us. We had to get 250k THB capital to register our company. We got an accountant in Phuket to take care of all the legal jargon for us, that cost about 50k. Opened a bank account and that was pretty much it.
Now we’ve realised that it wasn’t that shitty of an idea to start this company since TVC budgets are going more toward what they call ‘viral’ commercials (TVC’s made specifically for online distribution). In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer to make a video for an online audience from a companies point of view – even if they have massive 10million baht budgets.
First of all online audiences are growing while tv viewership is decreasing, I don’t think anyone can argue with that. With online ads, you can target your specific market and measure your results, this is a much more effective way of spending your marketing dollars. Furthermore, mainly due to advances in camera equipment, we have found ways to decrease the size of production teams (therefore decreasing costs of production) while still keeping quality high.
We now have 2 offices; 1 located in Phuket and 1 in Bangkok. In Phuket, we still focus more on lifestyle, travel driven videos whereas in Bangkok it’s become a little more pre and post-production heavy and we focus on the 100k-300k per project market. Our Bangkok team prides itself on being able to come up with creative, memorable video concepts that resonate with the client’s target market.
At Fat Mango, we only bring people in who are fully driven and passionate about video production. The most important thing for the whole team is to be able to be excited about the projects we take on and that’s where the real ‘movie magic’ happens for us. Cheesy I know but f it, it’s true baby.
– Nico Raess, MD at Fat Mango Videos