Ad Nut
Apr 11, 2019

A Japanese warrior film gets a prequel in Malaysia

A new campaign for Berjaya Sompo Insurance Berhad explores the origins of the 'Silent Guardians', who were introduced last year.

When you hit upon something people like, it's generally a good move to stick with it. And that's what Malaysia's Berjaya Sompo Insurance Berhad has done with a new campaign, created with Dentsu One, that brings back a quintet of 'Silent Guardians' that it introduced in 2018.  

The original 'Guardians' film (see below) showed five Japanese warriors (sumo, samurai, karateka, ninja and kendoka), protecting a bloke on his way to the airport. In the new prequel (above) we see how the warriors came to be his protectors in the first place: they showed up when he purchased five different insurance products from Berjaya Sompo. The prequel film even ends at exactly the same moment where the original started.

The ad also spotlights the company's Japanese heritage (it is 70% owned by Japan-based Sompo Holdings) and highlights customer-convenience factors—the protagonist speaks with an agent, buys some insurance online, and makes another purchase via a chatbot. 

The company reports that the original film was one of the top three YouTube videos in the financial-services category in Malaysia in 2018, and that 70% of post-campaign survey respondents liked the characters and had high recall of the campaign. 

“We saw that our strategy to humanise insurance through this brand strategy had been successful, and we made sure to include the element of humour again in this year’s campaign," Tan Sek Kee, CEO of Berjaya Sompo, said in a release. 

Ad Nut can't argue with that. And if the prequel is not quite as entertaining as the original, well, that's almost always the case, isn't it? At least the brand didn't make the mistake of sticking its popular characters into a totally different kind of ad (see "Hyundai's twerking brush-creatures get electrified"). 


Dentsu One:
Creative Director: Kamo Mayuko
Art: Gray Ng
Copy: Julia Nicholson
Strategic Planner: Shoei Kurokawa
Brand Management: Ivan Teh
Production House: PRS Production Sdn Bhd
Film Director: Telly Koay

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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