This year, Petronas Malaysia's much anticipated annual commercial for Hari Raya Aidilfitri (the celebration marking the end of the month of Ramadan) steps away from the usual guilt-inducing tearjerk ads and focuses on the pure joy of family.
For those unfamiliar with Malaysia's tradition of ads around Aidilfitri (also known as Eid-al-Fitr), the commercials have usually focused on heart-wrenching sentiment aimed at inspiring guilt and gratitude in the younger generation towards the faithful elder generation waiting for them in hometowns and villages. This year's ad by Nissan, for example, is no exception to the rule.
Last year the incredible accumulation of tragedy-drenched ads
resulted in a spoof, The Saddest Raya Ad.
So this year, Petronas has stepped away from attempting to make us all sob helplessly into our new 'baju' (clothing) and gone for heartwarming nostalgia.
The three-minute ad by agency Leo Burnett, "Ke Pangkuan Bonda" (To the arms of mother) features a seamless, beautifully shot journey of a family home for Aidilfitri to a rescored version of traditional song, "Suasana Hari Raya" ("The atmosphere of celebration").
The webfilm will be accompanied by a 60-second TVC, which will be aired until August 10.
In conjunction with the celebration, Petronas has reached out to 30 less-privileged single mothers from the Klang Valley (a district in the state of Selangor) and their families on July 17 as part of its 'Sentuhan Kasih' ('Touch of kindness') outreach programme. Petronas volunteers brought the women on a shopping trip to purchase household necessities, clothing and other needs in preparation for Aidilfitri. The shopping trip and expenditure were borne by the 70 members of the Petronas' staff who volunteered.
As Malaysians hit the roads over the holidays, Petronas will also launch its Hari Raya 'Coffee Break Campaign' aimed at raising road-safety awareness among motorists. This CSR campaign, which has been running for 15 years, offers motorists and their families a chance to pull over and refresh themselves with free coffee and snacks at 39 Petronas gas stations nationwide on 25 and 26 July as well as 1 and 2 August.
Creative agency:Leo Burnett Sdn Bhd
ECD: Eric Cruz
Group head art director: Tam Jian Zhong
Group head copywriter: Andrew Shee
Planner: Milan Agnihotri
Client servicing: Eswara Van Sharma, Eda Hayati Ariffin, Kristen De Silva
Production house: \Reservoir World Sdn Bhd
Director/photographer: \Quek Shio Chuan (Film Director)/ Ismail Kamarul (Executive Producer)
Edit house: Meccanica
(Campaign India wishes its readers: Eid Mubarak. This article first appeared on www.campaignasia.com.)