Racheal Lee
Aug 7, 2012

Brands take advantage of Olympic badminton mania in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Nando's and Baskin Robbins are leveraging the nation’s support and love toward its Olympic badminton players to engage with people and create conversations.

The online ad by Nando's
The online ad by Nando's

The nation’s hope for its first Olympics gold medal was crushed on Sunday when China’s Lin Dan defeated Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in the men’s single final, after three games.

Lee posted an apologetic tweet after the match. Badminton is regarded as the country’s national sport.

Fast food chain Nando’s, in less than 24 hours, came out with an ad on its Facebook page to encourage Lee. The main copy reads: “Dato [a state title conferred to Lee in Malaysia in 2008], you brought 28 million Malaysians together. That’s gold.”

The copy continues, “No need for the apologetic tweet, Dato. You won the respect of every Malaysian with your brave performance. You’re still a national hero. And we’re clucking proud of you.”

Within the first 21 hours after posting the ad, the brand received more than 5,000 likes, 4,900 shares and 200 comments. Creative Juice Kuala Lumpur is the agency behind the move.

Sa’ad Hussein, chief creative officer and executive director at the TBWA Group Malaysia, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Nando's' strategy is to join the conversation surrounding the latest news.

“We pick up the news and see the light of things,” Hussein, who is also the managing director at Creative Juice Kuala Lumpur, said. “We make the negative things positive, and the positive things more positive. Nando’s wants to bring a smile on everyone’s face.”

Early this year, Creative Juice created a more cheeky, but also timely, ad in response to a punch-up incident at a KFC outlet in Malaysia. The ad read, “We’re good at punchlines, not punches.”

It continued, “At Nando’s, we’re always about putting a smile on your face, instead of a fist. So for that, why not pop into our restaurants and enjoy our world-famous Peri-Peri chicken that packs a real, tasty punch.”

In February, a customer was punched by a KFC kitchen employee at the i-City outlet, Shah Alam, where the duo was quarrelling when the customer failed to redeem RM132 of coupons in fried chicken.

Hussein said in the era of social media, one has to be fast and join the conversation. He adds that Nando’s has seen increased Facebook fans through the two viral campaigns.

Before the final match, ice-cream brand Baskin-Robbins promised to give out free ice-cream nationwide if the country won its first-ever gold medal.

The ice-cream company said that every Malaysian would be entitled to one scoop of the ice-cream and vouchers for other Baskin-Robbins deals on 8 August. The offer became a hot topic on social media. Malaysia is one of the most internet-savvy countries in the region, with more than 17 million internet users, of which more than 12 million are on Facebook.

News reports today indicate that the brand will honor the offer even though Malaysia did not win the gold. Baskin-Robbins couldn’t be reached for comment.

It is also understood that home furnishing chain Macy Home Furnishing offered a full refund to 50 per cent of customers who had spent RM2,000 or more between 20 July and 1 August if Malaysia’s shuttlers managed to win the gold medal.

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