Thai banking institutions have undergone quite a cosmetic transformation in the past few years. Hardly surprising in one of the globe’s cosmetic surgery capitals where an afternoon bite can easily be preceded by a nip and tuck. Within the last five years, the Thai banks have gone from boring to beautiful, with new logos, vibrant color schemes and careful marketing and promotion.
Siam Commercial Bank, the 100-year-old original Thai bank, has its royal purple. TMB, the Thai Military Bank, has a patriotic red and blue color scheme with an umlaut that is intended to represent two people working together (or two soldiers holding hands in a don’t ask, don’t tell sort of way). Ayudhya Bank has a very “We Love the King” yellow for its color. Kasikorn Bank, previously known as Thai Farmers Bank (“kasikorn” being an older word for farmer) has adopted a fertile green color and brands itself as K-Bank.
The competition between the banks is fierce and each works hard to convince consumers that they have something to offer you besides the miserable 0.25% interest rates. (Which climbs to 3% if you lock at least 5 million baht into a 3-year certificate of deposit.)
Recently, K-Bank has launched a new campaign emphasizing how customer-friendly they are. (In full disclosure, K-Bank is one of the two banks where Tawn and I have accounts, the other being the Singapore-owned UOB. Yes, I am a Thai farmer.)
When you enter a K-Bank branch, there are complimentary bottles of K-Bank water to quench your thirst.
And as the weather is so warm here, you might need to freshen up after entering the branch. If so, please feel free to help yourself to the K-Bank moist towelettes.
But the K-Bank hospitality doesn’t end there. There are also K-Bank condoms, free for the taking. Yes, you probably saw that one coming, didn’t you?
The thing about the “K-Condom” is that there is a terrible double-entendre lurking in plain sight. The Thais have borrowed the word “cock” from English as a slang for, well, you know…
Since “cock” is a very harsh sounding word, they us the word เค (pronounced “kay”) as an abbreviation, much in the same way as in English we euphemistically refer to the “F-word”. So that makes the K-Condom very much like saying the cock condom, which to a gaggle of juvenile boys would be hilariously funny.
(Have I mentioned that Thai comedies are quite sophomoric in terms of what is considered funny? Bodily humor is considered the pinnacle of wit.)
Anyhow, after a week of politics both Thai and American style, I thought we deserved a laugh. Have a good weekend.