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High Five: An Eye-Opening Mix from Malaysia


Regional ECD across Southeast Asia at VMLY&R COMMERCE Malaysia, Chan Woei Hern, reflects and resets in his selection with five campaigns that look positively ahead

High Five: An Eye-Opening Mix from Malaysia

As we collectively shake off the impostor syndrome, also known as the 'LinkedIn Cannes Season Winner’s wall-feed', I asked my peers a simple question: "Hey. What is the best work you’ve done at your agency in the past six months?" Most replied: "I’m not sure...let me have a think". I agree. It’s an honest assessment of what we’ve done so far. It’s been six months since officially starting a proper work year and it’s a great opportunity to reflect and reset. How are we as an industry? As creatives? As people? Are we hard on ourselves? Too hard? Here’s a list of work we feel represents the hope, resilience and belief of the industry and brands. It’s a reminder that trophies and validation can come in many forms. It’s a reflection that our best work is - and always will be - the one ahead of us. Disclaimer: listed work isn’t ranked in any particular order of creative love. We all know what numbers do to our heads...

Grab Malaysia - 'The Unofficial Mother’s Day'

Agency: In-house at Grab
Production: Mojo Films

This is a story of ‘kakak’, ‘ateh’, ‘auntie’ - women who left their families and took on the role of a mother figure for thousands of children. In a world where we see maid abuse happening as headlines, this reminder of kindness to the people who’ve given us so much and ask so little in return, is much needed every day.

Astro - '7 Hari di Bawah Matahari' / '7 Days Under the Sun'

Agency: Naga DDB Tribal
Production & Post: Alpha47 Films
Sound: Audio Aficionado x BMG Music

They finally did it. In a world where Raya is the Super Bowl of Malaysian advertising (well technically in Malaysia there are three Super Bowl seasons, which is a story for another day and article), I’ve always wondered, how do you actually tell a brand story well on YouTube, when your brand is Malaysia’s largest content company? This year they didn’t. They wrote a short film that was aired on Astro (All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator). Is it an ad? Is it entertainment? It’s different and it’s a great step forward.

Telekom Malaysia (TM) - 'Dari Hati' / 'From the Heart'

Agency:  VMLY&R COMMERCE Malaysia
Production: Mojo Films
Post: Post2Post (online)
Sound: Pitch Audio+Magic

Every year, every Raya greeting on WhatsApp is a forwarded-a-thousand-times GIF. Is there any way we can create more meaningful wishes for our loved ones? The team explored the beauty behind the simple wisdom of our parents and created the world’s first Kufi art generator. On top of that, the storytelling was beautiful. That’s the sweet spot for us. To tell great stories and to give audiences a chance to write their own. One thing to note if you’re on the platform, the kufi art generator only works in grammatically correct Malay, due to complexities of learning and scripting into Jawi and then art-directed into Kufi artwork.

Nescafe x GSCinemas - 'Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia' / 'Three Widows vs the World'

Agency: Publicis Malaysia
Production: Director’s Think Tank

This is not an ad. It’s a movie trailer. To one of the most batshit crazy Malaysian movies on screen. Directed by much loved commercial director, Hyrul Anuar, it’s got lots of great elements going, like a very brave move to feature veteran actresses as the leads. More importantly, I chuckled at the conveniently placed iconic Nescafe red mugs in the film. I think it’s streaming somewhere now if you google. 

Malaysians (Non-Profit) - 'Kita Jaga'

Agency & Production: Terato Tech

In the middle of lockdowns, one idea rose above every brand, government agency and individual. It managed to unite Malaysians like never before. It was simple, authentic and sincere. I’d even say all it needed was an awesome case video to probably bring in some medals. Named 'Kita Jaga', loosely and literally translated as 'We Care', this platform gave Malaysians whose livelihoods were lost due to the protracted lockdowns, a fighting chance. All they needed to do was place a geo-targeted white flag and ask for the supplies or funds they needed. Likewise, charitable Malaysians could place a Malaysia flag and do the same. I’ve personally participated, and to be honest, it has opened my eyes to the community around me. It's also got a great telegram group for users to give feedback and come together for larger-scale deployments. More importantly, it’s a platform that constantly scaled to the needs of Malaysians. From supplies for flood-affected families, to job placements, to school supplies for children. Kita Jaga was also generous enough to open-source their platform for people to create their own campaigns - an idea that inspires Malaysians to do more and come up with their own initiatives. That’s awesome!

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VMLY&R COMMERCE Malaysia, Wed, 27 Jul 2022 11:30:03 GMT