Campaign with Zunar takes ‘New Malaysia’ to a new level
IN the past month, there have been a slew of Merdeka and Malaysia Day ad campaigns. The theme of “New Malaysia” seemed to be prevalent and popular with brands this year, understandably so given the fact that the country had just gone through a change of government for the first time since gaining independence 61 years ago.
“It is a historic time for the nation with a general sense of optimism and change in the air. Traditionally, unity, culture, heritage, racial harmony and patriotism are some common themes for Merdeka and Malaysia Day campaigns but this year, we can proudly add a ‘New Malaysia’ to the list,” Merdeka LHS managing partner Yasmin Mokhtar tells StarBizWeek.
Merdeka LHS is a Dentsu Aegis Network creative agency.
One campaign that took celebrating strength in a “New Malaysia” to another level was tissue paper brand Vinda Deluxe, which collaborated with Merdeka LHS to launch its campaign “Stay Strong, Malaysia: Bersama Kita Bersihkan Tanahair Kita (Together we clean up our homeland)”.
The month-long campaign featured a social media video and culminated in the unveiling of an original artwork by renowned Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, drawn on a canvas made entirely of Vinda Deluxe tissues.
Measuring 16 feet by eight feet, it is the largest comic art hand-drawn on tissue paper in Malaysia, as well as the first that the country has witnessed. The innovative use of tissue highlights the extra strong feature of Vinda Deluxe tissues, while Zunar’s masterpiece reflect the rise of a “New Malaysia” and Malaysians’ strong passion for a bright future.
Vinda Group South-East Asia marketing director Evelyn Chan shares that as Vinda Deluxe is synonymous with strength, this latest effort underscores its brand’s ongoing promise to “Stay Strong for You” through every situation and circumstance.
“In the past, we celebrated strength in relationships with Malaysia’s first tissue wedding gown, created exclusively for a real-life couple’s special day.
“Now, in solidarity with all Malaysians, we are excited to bring strength to life in another form, through our Malaysia Day campaign. Zunar’s creation demonstrates the strength of Vinda Deluxe tissues while calling for Malaysians to stand firm in their dream of making a positive change.
“His unique perspective to the campaign also reflects our brand promise, that Vinda Deluxe will stay strong for you, just as Malaysians stay strong for one another,” Chan adds.
As part of the campaign, Merdeka LHS also worked on a video that centred around taking a stand against unpleasant behaviour, bad habits and social ills, and encouraging all Malaysians to stay strong, to make Malaysia a better and cleaner place.
Sharing insights on how the idea was conceptualised, the agency’s chief creative officer Huang Ean Hwa says that as a relatively new brand, Vinda Deluxe needed to be smart with its marketing efforts by having an ear to the ground and courage to boot.
“The change and optimism we see and feel, goes to show that Malaysians have the courage, conviction and strength to want better for the country. Hence, the product benefit and positioning of ‘strong’ fits really well with the sentiment of the ‘rakyat’ now.
“Our job was just to identify this sentiment and to seamlessly integrate the product into the video, without it being too hard sell,” Huang adds.
At present, the video has garnered close to 2.5 million views on Facebook and YouTube, with many netizens giving thumbs up to the ad and leaving positive comments. It was released just before Merdeka Day and as a lead up to the unveiling of Zunar’s artwork, in conjunction with Malaysia Day.
Speaking on his experience painting on Vinda Deluxe tissues, Zunar reveals that he was truly surprised that tissues could be this strong. “Vinda Deluxe certainly lives up to its promise. Together, we have played a small part in celebrating Malaysia’s strength and resilience, and it is a privilege to work with a like-minded partner like Vinda,” he says.
Zunar is a celebrated cartoonist who has been drawing editorial cartoons for over 20 years and known by many as an advocate for truth and transparency in the country.
“Malaysia is going through an unprecedented chapter in our nation’s history. We stood strong and played our part, but what comes next? We have achieved a ‘New Malaysia’ but it is now time for Malaysians to look deep inside and think about what else needs to be done.
“My artwork reflects the urgent need for us to tackle the root of our problems, cutting them off if necessary, so that we can grow new shoots that are strong and positive.
“I hope this campaign serves as an inspiration for all Malaysians to uproot all our bad habits so we can remain strong and united, and create a country that is cleaner and better for all,” he explains.
“This is my first major piece of work for public exhibition since the dawn of our ‘New Malaysia’ and it is a great way to celebrate Malaysia Day,” he concludes.