Malaysia – Colgate in Malaysia has launched a new installment for its global-wide inspirational brand campaign titled ‘Smile Strong’ that seeks to champion positive change within the community, particularly during uncertain times. This new brand film highlights the ‘power of smile’ in the face of adversity.
The latest film tells the story of Malaysian singer, songwriter, and rapper Airliftz, who despite relentless challenges throughout his life brought by his in-born facial deformities, continues to ‘smile strong’. The 24-year-old Kajang artist was born with a nose missing cartilage, making him instantly recognisable by his unconventional appearance.
Developed in collaboration with Red Fuse, WPP’s integrated global team dedicated to serving Colgate-Palmolive, the cinematic direction of the film takes the viewer on a journey through Airliftz’s life from childhood, giving a very real insight into what he has faced throughout his life.
Moreover, about 90% of the film is shot from the back, retracing significant and often heartbreaking moments in his life, until he walks from the dressing room to the stage where he is greeted by thousands of excited fans. The contrasting stories aim to demonstrate how his willpower and determination have broken through societal biases, which ultimately led him to share his passion with the world.
Colgate said that Airliftz’s poignant story was chosen to inspire and remind Malaysians that with perseverance and a positive attitude, we can all achieve great things that can change our life forever.
See Mei Sin, associate marketing director for Oral Care at Colgate-Pamolive, said, “Colgate believes that everyone deserves a future they can smile about – no matter the age, race, gender, or simply one’s looks. It is our hope that Airliftz’ story inspires an optimistic spirit within Malaysians – that there is true power in our smile, regardless of our circumstances.”
Meanwhile, Adrian Miller, chief creative officer at Ogilvy Malaysia, shared that in the toothpaste category, they don’t tend to see much deviation from the norm when it comes to brand storytelling, and so, they always ask themselves how can they bring a fresh perspective to well-trodden territory.
“By keeping the protagonist’s face hidden throughout the commercial and juxtaposing the harsh realities of his past life with the adulation he’s receiving in the present we created a film that will intrigue the viewer. In a world of disposable content, the best we can hope for is for people to watch to the very end and the least we can do is reward them for doing so,” said Miller.
The new film will be running in cinema and digital until December 2022.