Ad Nut
Sep 29, 2022

Is this Malaysia Airlines campaign delusional?

In version 3.0 of its brand image, the airline’s new campaign harps back to an idyllic past that never quite existed.

Can one brand film capture the spirit of an entire country? According to Malaysia Airlines’ new MH3.0 campaign, it certainly can.

The embattled airline has had to weather a few storms in the past decade—namely the tragedies of MH370 and MH17—and is now on a trajectory towards recovery. Version 3.0 that the campaign aims to depict glosses over its past challenges and points consumers towards the airline’s age-old motto of ‘Malaysian hospitality’.

Throughout the film, the camera pans in slow-motion across an unrecognisable utopia where people of all ages and skin colours are seen laughing, eating, and playing together. Young folks are happily indulging in the massively underappreciated and underfunded art form of wayang kulit (shadow puppet theatre). Passengers in a bus rush to a woman’s side when she drops her item. A couple of white doves flutter amid the backdrop of the Petronas Twin Towers.

If you think the film itself is bloated, wait till you hear what the press release has to say about the film. Ad Nut still doesn’t know if Ad Nut should laugh, scratch Ad Nut’s head, or consider Ad Nut as too frivolous to appreciate this superior level of craft being presented. See for yourself:

From the different snapshots of Malaysian life to the thoughtful selection of diverse faces, every detail was taken into account to help fully capture Malaysia Airlines’ vision. The slow-motion action allows the audience to zoom in on each individual person and moment that contributes to building that uniquely Malaysian philosophy. The colour treatment of the video draws on warmer tones to evoke a sense of timelessness and nostalgia; driving home the truth that Malaysians’ welcoming nature does not exist from one isolated moment, but on the series of experiences that they have from childhood through to old age.

From a technical standpoint, the production also highlights the significance of a well-executed narrative. The straightforward yet nuanced storyboard deliberately nods to the natural diversity of Malaysia, while its careful framing contributes to an effectively delivered message; allowing viewers to piece together the sounds and visuals with their own experiences, validating both the overall concept as well as the audience’s lived circumstances.

Ad Nut applauds this extent of puffery as the release itself has offered Ad Nut more entertainment that the actual two-minute film.

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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