Staff Reporters
Apr 10, 2024

The must-see Hari Raya campaigns that capture the spirit of the holiday

Moving, heartwarming and impactful, check out how brands like Petronas, Malaysia Airlines, RHB Bank, Prego, Safi and others are capturing the true spirit of Raya.

The must-see Hari Raya campaigns that capture the spirit of the holiday
Muslims gather annually to celebrate Hari Raya with their loved ones in countries all over the world. The term hari raya is Malay for “big (or grand) day of rejoicing”. It is a unique moment, the conclusion of the fasting month of Ramadan. 
In addition to family get-togethers, it's a chance for brands to unleash their creative prowess and develop campaigns and films that capture the spirit of the holidays and foster relationships with consumers.
This year, brands have gone all out for their Raya 2024 creative campaigns, which culminate in a variety of short films celebrating culture, family, tradition, and Malaysian values surrounding the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
These are a few of the entertaining and heartwarming campaigns that caught our eye.
'Salam from the Heart'

This heartfelt festive film, directed by renowned filmmaker Rewan Ishak, delves into tradition and forgiveness. It is set against the scenic backdrop of Terengganu, and captures the essence of exchanging greetings (salam) during the first day of Aidilfitri. The message that as we journey through life, each salam carries a unique significance, teaching us to cherish every moment of reconciliation and forgiveness is beautiful and heartwarming.
'Rasa Raya Epik Mak-ster Chef’ (An epic taste of Raya)
Prego Malaysia
Agency: MBCS, IPG Mediabrands Malaysia
A parody of the popular Masterchef series, "Mak-ster Chef," is part of the "Rasa Raya Epik" campaign, which translates to "an epic taste of Raya." The film shows how easy it is to prepare the perfect Raya pasta with the help of Prego (an Italian sauce), as a mum quickly whips up a meal for her family, much to the delight of her mother-in-law and the rest of her relatives.
The Raya holiday is really the Olympics of hosting, where mums feel the need to be perfect and impress their family as the 'hostess with the mostess.’ In most Malay households, pasta has become a common feature within the traditional Raya spread, and the film does a good job of showing the lighter side of these pressures through a fun and lighthearted spot.

“Iklan Raya A.I.dilfitri” (A Raya A.I.dilfitri Ad)
Julie's Biscuits
Agency: GOVT Singapore
With its most recent must-see Hari Raya short film, Malaysian biscuit brand, Julie's Biscuits continues its tradition of impactful storytelling that pushes boundaries, this year tackling gender biases and stereotypes in a thought-provoking spot.
It follows the adventures of a fictional marketing team as they use AdGPT, a generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool, to craft the ideal Hari Raya commercial. The short film explores the challenges faced by the marketing team in trying to reject the AI's suggestions that emphasise traditional gender roles during the festive season, such as women cooking in the kitchen and men engaging in lighter tasks in the living room amongst other stereotypes.
Eventually they identify the underlying causes of the biased AI-generated information, which includes deeply rooted preconceptions and years of social indoctrination. In spite of everything, they find a glimmer of hope: it is possible to alter these antiquated beliefs. These prejudices can be altered by positive stories and reinforcement, especially during festivals like Hari Raya, which place a strong emphasis on forgiveness and renewal.
It's an impactful story with a modern twist that shows how AI learns from humans and mirrors our own biases. But ultimately demonstrates the good news that AI can learn to unlearn those biases if we can too. 
'BerZUSah-ZUSah Dahulu, Beraya-Raya Kemudian' (Struggle first, party later)
Zus Coffee
Agency: Fishermen Integrated
This heartwarming film caught our attention as it captures the true spirit of Raya, focusing on togetherness and helping each other with honest intentions. The film honours the unsung heroes, all those who are willing to work during the holidays: nurses, security guards, police, emergency services and even Zus Coffee baristas. Shown from the perspective of Zus coffee baristas, the film is a tribute to everyday champions, showing how frontline heroes sacrifice their holidays so that the rest can celebrate in comfort, with a dose of Malaysian humour thrown in for good measure.
'Ada Apa Dengan Masa' (What's Up With Time)
Astro Malaysia
The entertaining film tells the story of Tok Zan's family and his three children who are busy with their careers and only visit their father once in a while on Hari Raya. On the eve of the holiday, these three brothers receive an alarming voice message from Tok Zan causing them to hurry back to the village and face various funny challenges. 
The adventure-filled short film, with an all-star cast, has garnered almost 4 million views as Astro Malaysia tells a touching story that leads us to question what we truly value most.
'Buat Yang Cekal Berkhidmat' (Make a resolute service)
Malaysia Aviation Group
Agency: Bonsey Jaden
Malaysia Airlines recognises their hardworking staff who toil diligently to "keep the skies safe" and their steadfast dedication to hospitality even during the busy festive season with this heartfelt Raya tribute.
The opening scene of the brand film, "Buat yang cekal berkhidmat" (Make a resolute service), shows an airline attendant reading a letter from a customer. The letter's contents, which express respect for the air stewardess's strength in putting others before herself, are read aloud by a narrator. 
Throughout the film, various Malaysia Airlines employees, including customer service representatives, ground personnel from airports, and cabin crew are seen serving passengers.
The film, albeit conventional and safe, does a good job of encapsulating Malaysian hospitality and honouring the frontline teams and staff that put in countless hours to make sure that customers may return home and spend the holidays with their loved ones in safety. 
'Kaherah Untuk Farah' (Farah in Cairo)
Agency: MBCS, IPG Mediabrands Malaysia
The film follows a young Malaysian woman as she embarks on a trip of a lifetime to pursue her studies abroad, facing the challenges of cultural differences, amidst diversity and self-esteem struggles. She eventually finds belonging by acknowledging her roots and connecting to her true self to embrace her own authentic beauty.
The spot is a celebration of a worthwhile initiative by beauty brand Safi, who have launched a RM 1 million scholarshipthe Biasiswa Siswi Safiwhich aims to provide financial assistance for qualified underprivileged young women by supporting their academic & professional development in their chosen fields of study.
While the film is moving by itself, it's even more signficant knowing that the initiative behind it is making a life-changing difference in the lives of young women. 
‘Lembaran Baharu’ (Forgiveness)
RHB Bank Malaysia
Agency: FCB Shout

Malaysia's RHB Bank can be forgiven if it's drawn more than its fair share of tears in its festive campaigns over the years. Known for its emotional films during lunar new yearDeepavali or Ramadan, the bank has struck yet again with the moving true tale of lawyer Ahmad Zaharil Muhaiyar for Hari Raya this year.

And forgiveness is indeed the theme. The film reenacts one of Ahmad Zaharil's more unforgettable pro bono cases from 1998, when he defended a woman who had stolen a pencil case as a gift to her son who had ranked number one in class. Facing up to 7 years in prison, he was able to reduce her sentence to a Good Behaviour Bond. Twenty years later, the son who received the pencil case approached Ahmad Zaharil to explain how he was inspired by the incident to become a lawyer himself.

Tjer, FCB Shout's head of creative explains that they approached this story differently from other RHB festive films. They tried to stay true to life because the story was powerful enough by itself. "As such, we didn’t have to take a lot of creative license to turn this true story into an engaging and entertaining piece that is fit for the Hari Raya occasion."

Tjer is right, there's not a lot of creative license on display here and some of the production elements like the swelling music appear highly traditional if not formulaic. But it does tell a strong story about the power of forgiveness at a meaningful time of year. For the brand and the occassion, the message is what matters, more than the medium. 


Campaign Asia

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