Malaysia – In celebration of Merdeka, the Independence Day of Malaysia, Mondelēz International’s chocolate brand Cadbury has launched a touching tribute to the founding of Malaysia. Called ‘Merdeka Unseen’, the campaign uses technology to take audiences on a sentimental journey through history.

Created in collaboration with creative agency Ogilvy Malaysia, the film features Johan, a gentleman that was present during that iconic Merdeka Day in 1957 and brought him back to the stadium to relive that experience. real-time, as he walked through the stadium, memories were projected onto the seats where those moments happened. 

Through Johan’s memories of Merdeka, the film serves as a reminder that generosity has always been at the heart of the Malaysian spirit and when people all take the time to look, they can find goodness everywhere around everyone.

Cadbury said that Merdeka is equivalent to ‘The Superbowl’ in Malaysia. Big and small brands all celebrate this momentous occasion with salutations and tributes. While it is a popular season, the sea of sameness has been prevalent: messages of unity, breaking down cultural barriers and differences, coming together, and resolving differences. But as a brand that has been in Malaysia for over 100 years, Cadbury wanted to show a side of Merdeka that’s never been seen before. 

For 65 years, the topic of Merdeka has centred around the iconic speech of Tunku Abdul Rahman. It’s been studied in schools and plastered across advertising campaigns nationwide. But Merdeka is more than just that speech. Through the use of technology, the film brought to life the many symbolic moments that happened that same day, defining the spirit of what it means to be Malaysian. Instead of centring the narrative around one man’s speech, Cadbury centred the campaign around the millions who watched that speech and more.

Nikhil Nicholas, SEA marketing lead for chocolates at Mondelēz International, said, “Cadbury Dairy Milk has always strived to shine a spotlight on the generous instinct that exists in all of us and found the perfect opportunity here to do just that this Merdeka, by recreating Johan’s memories of the everyday goodness that he witnessed all around him on that momentous day.” 

Meanwhile, Nizwani Shahar, Ogilvy’s chief executive for Malaysia, shared that Cadbury Dairy Milk is an iconic global brand, and they are proud to be part of a winning team that continues to drive brand impact and business growth in a modern landscape. 

“We hold the Cadbury flag high having worked on this business for so long and the ability to keep pushing out impactful, powerful work is a true testament to a solid partnership with clients who give us permission to play and push boundaries,” said Shahar.

Adrian Miller, Ogilvy’s chief creative officer for Malaysia, noted that the truth of today is that no one wants to spend any second of their day watching any form of advertising, especially during an occasion like Merdeka where the same stories have been rinsed and repeated. 

“But what people do want to watch is a powerful story that they haven’t seen before. A story that intrigues them and adds value to their day. That’s what we aspire to do with every piece of work and that’s a shared ambition we have with our partners at Mondelēz,” said Miller.

Manila, Philippines – It’s that time of year again: the Christmas holidays. And with the upcoming Yuletide season, there is also a rich variety of holiday-themed ads. From straight-up ads that communicate the brand with a Christmas twist to ads that execute brand storytelling, here are the most emotionally engaging holiday ads this year, according to global video and connected TV programmatic advertising platform Unruly.

  1. Disney: The Stepdad

The latest global Christmas campaign by the global entertainment company, the ad is a heartwarming story focused on a stepdad and his family, and their everyday life towards celebrating Christmas. The ad, laced with references to Disney characters coming to life, scored 46.6% positive emotional engagement. 

  1. Goldilocks: Celebrate Christmas with Goldilocks

This simple 30-second spot by Philippine-based bakery chain Goldilocks invites viewers to order their upcoming Christmas dinner platter from the chain, where they serve not only pastries but also full-on meals. Said ad garnered 37.0% positive emotional engagement.

  1. Lady’s Choice: Have a Safe and Meaningful Reunion with a Lady’s Choice Creamy Sweet Macaroni Salad!

Mayonnaise brand Lady’s Choice shows in this 15-second spot on enjoying Christmas with one of their recipes: a sweet macaroni salad: staple across Christmas dinners. This ad got 35.9% positive emotional engagement.

  1. Foodpanda: We Gotchu This Christmas!

A true modern Christmas tale: what happens when Santa Claus himself can’t get the deliveries done? In this 45-second spot, foodpanda decided to take a modern twist of the famous ‘Rudolf, The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ into their delivery riders. The ad garnered 35.1% positive emotional engagement.

  1. Lazada: Grand Christmas Sale na this Dec 12-14!

This latest ad from the Philippine arm of e-commerce platform Lazada goes by the tune of the known Christmas carol ‘Deck The Halls’: only with a modern twist and Lazada references. This ad, which focuses on the platform’s upcoming Christmas sale and features local ambassadors, has garnered a 31.1% positive emotional engagement.

  1. Kinder: Share the Christmas Joy with Kinder

A 15-second spot filled with Christmas joy, this ad by chocolate brand by Kinder on sharing the Christmas joy to kids has garnered 26.0% positive emotional engagement.

  1. Cadbury: Cadbury Dairy Milk Christmas

Another chocolate ad on the list, this one with Cadbury, invites viewers to consider gifting their loved ones with a custom Cadbury gift. The ad has recorded 23.1% positive emotional engagement.

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts: Merry Munchkin

Last but not the least: this campaign featuring Philippine P-pop group SB19 greets viewers a happy holiday, and considering the donut chain to be a part of their Yuletide festivities. Said ad has garnered 18.8% positive emotional engagement.

Speaking about how these ads made an impact this holiday season, Greg Fournier, senior vice president for global strategy at Unruly said that it is important more than ever for brands and advertisers to better understand how their ads will resonate with audiences, and how effective they are at driving key business metrics like brand recall, purchase intent and brand favorability.

“In times of continued uncertainty and evolving consumer habits, brands have been able to develop creative and imaginative advertisements – many have also chosen to depart from overt COVID-19 themes and instead depict new-normal ways of life. Notably, brands have also chosen to reflect diversity in their ads this year – not just ethnically but also generationally – with characters and families from all walks of life and ages.”

He added, “On the flip side, ads that lack narrative, without any stories to tell, performed poorly. Ads that lack narration were also less well-received, with consumers finding it harder to understand the messages and relate on an emotional level.”

India – To promote local businesses in the middle of the country’s annual festival of lights Diwali, Mondelez India launches a hyper-localized ad campaign that will encourage local promotion of local retailers across India.

The ad campaign leverages artificial intelligence to promote geo-targeted visibility of more than 1800 participating local retailers, across over 260 pin codes in the country. 

Initially, the video ad campaign depicts an Indian family rejoicing in the festivity of Diwali, while highlighting the gifts being given are from local businesses. The video campaign ends with the message “When all of us support our local stores, all of us can have a Happy Diwali.” Custom video ads are also produced for certain areas to promote local businesses.

“Throughout festivities exchanging gifts and sweets holds a significant emotional value and embarks the beginning of a new era, and it makes us extremely proud about the fact that we humbly found a place in this small, yet important tradition.  Moreover, this year, than any other warrants for acts that signify new beginnings and the potential  of goodness in an imperfect world, and our recent Cadbury Celebrations campaign infuses this  thought at the back of evoking generosity,”  commented Anil Viswanathan, Senior Director – Marketing (Chocolates), Insights and Analytics, Mondelez India. 

Context video for the hyper-localized ad campaign.

The campaign will run until the 15th of November, a day after the initial observance of Diwali.