Ad Nut
Jun 23, 2017

Ad Nut's Raya-ad review: Brands embrace Ramadan

Ad Nut joins in the festive cheer to take a look at a few Raya campaigns.

As Ramadan is coming to an end this weekend, Ad Nut joins in the delight of Muslim friends in anticipation of Eid, the beginning of Shawwal, a celebration widely referred to as Hari Raya in Malaysia and Singapore.  

With the exception of Watsons Malaysia, which created some furore with its blackface ad, brands have been on a round of merrymaking with their respective releases. A couple of this year's ads are more poignant, such as the Media Prima network clip by director Ho Yuhang (above), which focuses on the plight of a single mother and underscores the theme of giving thanks and forgiveness. Let's check out how some brands have attempted to bring tears and cheers. 

Client: Petronas
Agency: Leo Burnett Malaysia

Petronas has been using the same cast of child actors for several of its festive ads this year, including this Doughnut or Currypuff Raya campaign as well as the Chinese New Year and Keamatan festival celebrated in East Malaysia earlier this month. The young characters have in a way lightened the tone of the ads, which have been more sombre and reflective in previous years. In this commercial, Hakim is fasting for the first time. Hunger does weird things to his mind, like making him think that he is kicking a giant doughnut on a field. Ad Nut can't help but feel that recent Petronas ads have been below expectations. Also, it's high time for brands in Malaysia to do away with putting token representatives of each race in ads. While it is certainly great to be inclusive to reflect the multi-cultural makeup of the country, the practice is skin-deep at best, and may not lead to meaningful national conversation about racial relations.

Client: Malaysia Airlines
Agency: M&C Saatchi
While Petronas has somewhat lost its shine, the national carrier has picked up the pace with more acclaimed works recently. This #Rayaaroundtheworld campaign showcases how Raya or Eid is celebrated in India, China and Japan, all of which are key destinations for the airline. 

Client: RHB Bank
Agency: FCB Kuala Lumpur
RHB Bank goes for nostalgia with a Raya celebration in a village, which would have been splendid until its group managing director shows up at the end of the clip to announce his festive greetings. Ad Nut is certain that viewers appreciate his earnest effort nonetheless.

Client: Astro Malaysia
Agency: Naga DDB
Based on a true story, Astro's Raya ad about a father and his son who has autism-spectrum disorder is one of the few tearjerker releases for this festive season. Astro has been widely commended for bringing to light the struggles parents face in raising their children with special needs.

Client: KFC Malaysia
Agency: Naga DDB
Naga DDB rolls out the father-and-son theme again in this cute and moving 'Joget Abah' ('Daddy's joget dance') campaign. Ad Nut hopes that this video will motivate more human friends to make their own greeting cards.

Client: Pantene & Downy
Agency: Grey Group Indonesia
The P&G brands launched a competition on Twitter to ask consumers to post what they would ask their moms to forgive them for during this Eid season. The winning posts (altogether 17 of them) were then strung together as lyrics for the cover of "A Mother's Love", a popular song that many Indonesians grow up listening to. The song was performed in a concert by Anggun, Pantene's ambassador and Andien, Downy's ambassador, with the mothers of the winners in attendance. 

Client: Snickers Malaysia
Agency: BBDO Malaysia

No sugar rush. A few Malaysians decided to show solidarity with their Muslim friends by trying to fast for a day during Ramadan under the Snickers Memahami (Snickers Understands) campaign. Ad Nut begrudgingly remembers Snickers' tagline that "You are not you when you are hungry".

Client: Uber 
Agency: R/GA Singapore

To help users to reach out to their loved ones, Uber has outfitted selected cars with WiFi and tablets, allowing customers to make free audio and video calls during their rides. The #RideToReconnect campaign has been running in Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. 

Client: Guardian Malaysia
Agency: BBDO Malaysia

While Watsons Malaysia's take on a traditional Malay folklore has backfired, Guardian Malaysia's whimsical adaptation of traditional Malay version of Cinderella hasn't generated unwanted publicity. 

Client: VIVO
Agency: Y&R Indonesia

The smartphone brand explores what lies beneath the mascot suit. In this case it is Mini V, a giant feline creature with a bright blue pouch. Ad Nut is glad that someone is finally paying attention to mascots—which are the hardest-working crew members in many campaigns.

Client: Tenaga Nasional
Agency: Leo Burnett Malaysia

Ad Nut can see why this ad is so popular—many would have experieced some level of the homecoming rush during major festivities like Aida, the main character in the narrative. Titled Dugaan Raya (Challenges of Raya), the campaign for the national electricity utility depicts the adventures of the rather scatterbrained Aida, as she loses her bus ticket and gifts along the way before making it back safe at home to spend Raya with her family. Ad Nut recommends an e-ticket next time.

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