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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Petronas’ film for Deepavali celebrates ‘triumph of light over darkness’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – For this year’s Deepavali celebration, the Festival of Lights celebrated on 4 November, Malaysia’s Petronas presents the message of embracing ‘love’ and finding ‘positivity’ during the pandemic through a new animated web film.

The new film is a loose adaptation of the ancient Indian epic of Ramayana that draws parallels between the experiences Malaysians are facing during these trying times with the battle against darkness. It urges the citizens to have ‘faith’ and ‘power’ in this journey towards recovery. 

Titled ‘Akka’, the web film features the main character Dheeya who goes on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she learns valuable life lessons that ‘love’ is also an act of responsibility. The film also shows how the values of ‘anger’ and ‘frustrations’ can be turned into a positive light through acceptance.

Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz, Petronas’ senior general manager of group strategic communications, said that the pandemic remains a challenge for Malaysians this festive season, but it is also a time for ‘unity’ and celebration within the community.

“We at Petronas wish all Malaysians celebrating this Festival of Lights, Happy Deepavali. May light and love always prevail,” said Aziz.

In addition, Petronas also launched specially designed kolams – a form of traditional decorative art drawn using rice flour, which are being displayed at the Lingkaran Karak and Mutiara Damansara Petronas stations until 8 November 2021. The kolams, created by local artist Lashanya Rangoli, depict scenes from the web film.

The film is available for viewing on Petronas’ official YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Petronas has had animation as its main creative direction for its past brand films such as for the commemoration of Hari Raya, Thanksgiving Day, and Malaysia’s Independence Day.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

RHB Bank celebrates Deepavali with coming-of-age film about inner beauty

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In conjunction with the Deepavali festive celebration, also known as Festival of Lights celebrated on 4 November, banking institution RHB has launched a new campaign film, aimed at showing the essence of true beauty at the time of hardships.

The new campaign, which was created together with advertising agency FCB Malaysia, tells the true story of Nisha Thayananthan, the reigning Miss Earth Malaysia, who is not just a beauty queen but also a doctor who fought in the frontlines amid the nation’s battle in the pandemic. 

Titled ‘The Inner Light’, the film features Thayananthan’s journey in discovering her ‘inner beauty’ after spending many of her growing-up years pursuing only what’s beautiful on the outside. Told through two separate timelines of her life – a teenage Thayananthan and the Thayananthan of today, the film highlights how Thayananthan’s mother, through her humanitarian work, inspired the beauty queen to embrace her inner beauty through a simple act of kindness.

Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, RHB Group’s chief marketing officer, shared that it may be an emotional coming-of-age film on the surface but that the film also aims to be a heartfelt tribute to the nation’s frontliners. 

“It’s important that we never forget the amazing efforts and contributions from the thousands of selfless heroes like Nisha that have helped us get back on our feet. Their acts are the true definition of ‘Together We Progress’,” said Murad.

Meanwhile, Tjer Wang, FCB Malaysia’s creative director, shared that it’s been a challenge at first to do Thayananthan’s story justice using two separate timelines.

“But thanks to the guidance and expertise from our production partners at D1 Productions and GT Records, we’re ecstatic that we managed to bring the whole idea to life,” said Wang. 

Ong Shi Ping, the co-owner and chief creative officer at FCB Malaysia, said, “Even as we are slowly rebuilding our lives and attempting to put the challenges of the pandemic behind us, we should always remember the kindness and selflessness that we’ve shared during our darkest times together, and then bring them along with us into the future.” 

The campaign is currently running across all RHB Bank’s social and digital channels.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Air Selangor’s Deepavali film presents festivity’s diverse experience through a love story

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As the ‘Deepavali’ or the Tamil festivity of lights or also known as ‘Diwali’ in Hindu tradition is fastly approaching on 4 November, utility firm Air Selangor has launched a new animated film to celebrate the festive season’s diverse cultural experiences, all through the perspective of a love story.

The film, created by agency Reprise Digital, follows protagonist Balan as he searches for the girl of his dreams. As he goes on his quest, Balan witnesses the myriad ways in which Deepavali is celebrated and learns to understand the different meanings of Deepavali for all those within the community.

Thanendran Thanesvaran, group commercial director and head of sports marketing at Reprise Digital, who also served as script writer for the film, explained that despite the film’s romantic theme, the backdrop really shows the idea of new experiences and togetherness manifested during the Deepavali festivities.

“The interesting thing we realised in this process is that different Indian communities have their own unique way of celebrating Deepavali, and each culture might not necessarily know much about another,” Thanesvaran stated.

The film was released on 25th October 2021 across digital platforms. It features seven different languages, including Indian languages Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Punjabi, something rarely done in a short film.

“While most festive films are longer, this was deliberately kept to under 3 minutes, with multiple languages used, to keep engagement up amongst all Malaysians. Though we had originally hoped to shoot it live, we hope the animation and lively music that has fused together different genres of Indian musical influences is one that will resonate with all Malaysians,” Thanesvaran added.

Meanwhile, Elina Baseri, head of corporate communication at Air Selangor, commented, “The greatest celebrations are those celebrated together, and Air Selangor is very pleased to share this message of community and hope to all Malaysians this Deepavali.”

She added, “The team at Reprise have portrayed a boy-meets-girl story that cleverly transcends cultures while showcasing the vibrancy of Indian cultures. From the story to the music used, the film breaks down cultural barriers and is a relatable one that we hope all of Malaysia will enjoy as much as we did in putting it together.”