Staff Reporters
Aug 31, 2023

Brands amplify Malaysian pride with 2023 Merdeka Day campaigns

Celebrating unity, crafting connections, and uplifting Malaysian identity—here's a roundup of work that captures the essence of Merdeka Day.

Brands amplify Malaysian pride with 2023 Merdeka Day campaigns

National Day is synonymous with brands in Malaysia doling out messages of unity, harmony, and peace. Sure, most of them present as saccharine and escapist given the state of affairs in Malaysia, but some of them manage to convey the messages of hope and positivity better than others.

On Malaysia's 66th birthday, here are the ones that stood out: 

Brand: Petronas
Campaign: 'Rai'
Agency: IPG Mediabrands network

Titled 'Rai,' meaning to celebrate, the film honours the significant milestones that Malaysia has made since independence. Set with the 70s and 80s as a backdrop, the campaign is a love story at heart that showcases the remarkable journey of Petronas through the decades. It has an interracial storyline that follows a small-town man, Amir, as he joins Petronas in the big city, his friendship with Maniam, and his infatuation with Ah Moi, amidst a fast-changing Malaysia. The film by IPG Mediabrands network is a tribute to love, legacy, and lagu (song) sudirman for Merdeka and Malaysia Day.

Brand: Dettol Malaysia
Campaign: A New Legacy To Protect - Dettol Malaysia

Agency: Kingdom Digital

Dettol Malaysia and agency partner Kingdom Digital offer their tribute to Malaysia's unsung heroes—the firefighters this Merdeka Day. In a heartwarming short film, 'A New Legacy to Protect,' they unveil a poignant story through Syed Shahril Anuar, a firefighter, as he reflects on his father's legacy and commitment to safeguarding the nation. The campaign is a touching narrative about the often-overlooked heroes and their unwavering dedication to protecting lives. The film's message goes beyond gratitude; it calls for unity, urging Malaysians to unite, care, and work for a better society. As Syed Shahril Anuar aptly puts it, every Malaysian can be a hero by embracing this shared responsibility.
Brand: RHB Bank
Ketepikan Perbezaan Warna
Agency: FCB Shout

This year, RHB Bank is re-purposing its famous 2019 National Day campaign that has taken on the various divides in a multicultural and multi-racial society. ‘See Beyond Colour’ created by FCB Shout showcases the different sections of society in colour-coded clothing, resolving the tensions between them. The creative team at FCB uses colours to represent people standing on opposite sides. Stress begins to build from the isolation and segregation. But the same happens to the tension when the colours are stripped off. RHB's brand message through the film, which is relevant even in 2023, is that "the journey becomes easier when we put our differences behind to progress together," according to group CMO Abdul Sani Abdul Murad.

Brand: Shopee Malaysia
Campaign: ‘Pertama’ (‘First’)

Shopee Malaysia's Merdeka celebrations include a film titled ' Pertama' ('First') with influencer Fusion Wayang Kulit to create work that spotlights Malaysian's firsts, from Michelle Yeoh's historic Oscar win to local achievements. Complementing this, Shopee released Spotlight Local booklet featuring top Malaysian sellers, driving purposeful shopping and support for homegrown products and empowering Malaysians to embrace their heritage and contribute to the nation's progress.

Brand: Telekom Malaysia (TM)
Campaign: 'Aidentiti Kita'
Agency: Grey Malaysia

Telekom Malaysia has tapped into National Day festivities with agency partner Grey via a new generative AI campaign that plays up the multifaceted diversity of the country. The 'Aidentiti Kiti' campaign, a one-of-a-kind music video with diverse local artists such as MK (K-Clique), Suki Low and Balan Kash weaves in a narrative about the importance of fostering unity by bridging culture and humanity with technology

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