The Sweetshop & BBC Storyworks Unveil Inspiring Story from Thailand for Alipay+

01 July 2024

Written by

The Sweetshop

The latest work from The Sweetshop director Zoe McIntosh is a sweet, authentic branded documentary film from the streets of Bangkok in collaboration with BBC Storyworks for AntGroup International’s global campaign “The Power of Small”.

The Sweetshop

This is the first of the campaign’s three commissioned films to go live and its success relied on casting a real-life micro business owner, and the team embarked on a street-casting mission across Bangkok, on the hunt for someone willing to share their story. They found a gem in Numwan, a 23-year-old mother of two with no prior on-camera experience, who brings a beautiful sincerity to the film as she allows us to catch a glimpse of her in real life, living in a railway slum on the outskirts of Bangkok, running her small business selling traditional Thai desserts from a modified tuk-tuk. 

Jenny Crabb, BDM and EP of Sweetshop Asia, shares:

“Zoe’s exceptional skills as both a commercial and documentary director ensured a perfect balance between the human aspect of the stories and the commercial messaging essential for branded content, and she was able to retain a unique regional charm for each film while maintaining universal appeal. BBC Storyworks was passionate about finding the heart of each story we developed, and for our team, kicking off this international production from our home base in Bangkok was such a treat.”

Building and maintaining a relationship with Numwan was crucial, while initially very nervous about the process she ultimately embraced the documentary experience with grace, delivering a performance that is both genuine and moving. 

Director Zoe McIntosh says:

“Directing Alipay+ was a privilege. It perfectly combined the essential elements to make branded content resonate. We had an amazing character with a genuine problem to solve, all set in a richly textured environment. The integration and need for the product in her life was authentic, and her story was full of heart. I was also blessed with the best crew, keeping it small and nimble was key!”

Thai-born DOP Natdanai Naksuwarn's fantastic eye infuses the campaign with an easy visual authenticity and rich local texture as we follow Numwan on her journey.

Watch the film here.