Ad Nut
Nov 28, 2018

Ad for water purifier distills essence of Malaysia

Sumptuous stop-motion ad is an example of localisation done right.

Coway is a manufacturer based in South Korea, but an ad for the brand's new water purifier targeting Malaysia is so well crafted and tuned to local sensibilities no one will be thinking about the parent company when they see it. 

And in fact, it's not just a skin-deep thing. The company specifically designed this model, called the Ombak, with a large capacity to suit large Malaysian families. So it's fitting that the ad to introduce it is so steeped in the local culture. 

The agency, Grey Malaysia, brought in a local graffiti artist and illustrator, Kenji Chai, who created swirling, layered depictions of typical—and in many cases quintessentially Malaysian—uses of purified water. Production company Think Tank then helped print the illustrations onto textured paper, cut them out and layer them into 3D structures that were then filmed using stop-motion photography.

The agency claims the team suffered many paper cuts. Ad Nut feels it was worth the sacrifice. Sure, this video could have been done in a computer, but Ad Nut salutes the devotion to crafty, real-world media. The copy and the voiceover performance also add to the local vibe.    

A behind the scenes photo

The campaign will be produced in multiple languages and includes print, digital, TV, digital and static OOH, cinema, social and radio. Each of the illustrations is also available in postcard form.


ECD: Graham Drew
CD: Thang Heng Wei
Art Director: Sara Lai
Copywriter: Charlene Ong
Designer: Kevin Wong
Brand Director: Marcus SK
Snr Brand Manager: Daphne Wong
Snr Brand Exec: Kamil Zulhaidi
Think Tank

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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