Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Listerine Malaysia’s new campaign shows why oral health should not be neglected

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Oral care brand Listerine in Malaysia together with Reprise, IPG Mediabrands’ performance marketing agency, has launched a new campaign titled, “Mulut Kosong Kosong: Mulut Sihat, Raya Penuh Berkat” (Clean Mouth: Healthy Mouth, Raya Full of Blessings), which aims to incorporate practical tips such as using mouthwash to improve healthy eating practises. The new campaign is in fact its special commemoration for the Ramadan and Raya festive period. 

The digital campaign features a series of three short films to personify attributes of a healthy mouth and encourage Malaysians to practice good oral care throughout Ramadan and help them attain a healthy mouth. The three short films also showcase different people’s unique personalities in celebrating Ramadan. The first personality is ‘Foodie Mouth’ the one who eats everything during Ramadan without any concern towards oral health, second personality is ‘Sweet Mouth’ the one who is the centre of attention because of good oral health and her dazzling smile, and lastly, Onion mouth, used colloquially, as someone who enjoys socialising and gossiping about others and confident about her oral health.

The overall campaign message is to keep a healthy mouth that is free of germs (‘kosong kosong’).

Kim Chew, client service director of Reprise, said the campaign was inspired by Malaysians who love a play on words. In this instance, the word mouth (mulut) is used alongside to provide a unique personality for each ‘mouth’ character, typical characters one would find around the Ramadan/ Raya dining table. 

“We wanted to personify attributes of a healthy mouth to encourage Malaysians to practice good oral care throughout Ramadan and help them attain a healthy mouth (mulut sihat),” Chew said.

Chew added, “Getting the mouths just right was extremely tricky but fun at the same time. When casting, we carefully identified actors in a very minute way. Interestingly, the actors too needed a few rounds of practice to get the right nuances of expression, limited to just the mouth, lips, tongue and teeth. We also worked closely with a very talented makeup artist who painted the characters very attractively. Essentially, the mouth becomes the body and the face simultaneously!”

As part of the campaign, an Instagram filter contest was launched, with a prize for the best responses to nosy questions asked during Raya celebrations. Users can record their best comebacks, manners in mind, along with the hashtag #MulutKosongKosong on Instagram reels. 

Meanwhile, Tracy Foo Swee Ki, senior brand manager of Listerine, commented, “Personifying the different personalities in this way, and really giving them characters, beyond just the verbal narrative was extremely important. The mouth is the main feature of the shots, and the Reprise team took great care to provide the right treatments to highlight mouths in a non-offensive, truly appealing way. 

“The message we want to leave you with is that swishing twice a day with Listerine doesn’t just help to keep your breath fresh, it helps you enjoy Raya with a cleaner, healthier mouth,” Ki adds.

The company also worked with sister agency Universal McCann, and key opinion leaders to engaged to drive the campaign message. The film was made available on all digital platforms.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Subway MY’s new campaign highlights why Ramadan is a season for compassion

KualaLumpur, Malaysia — Subway Malaysia is celebrating family and togetherness this Ramadan with the launch of its 1-foot closer or ‘Satu Kaki Lebih Mesra’ campaign.

Conceptualised and executed by VMLY&R Commerce, the brand’s lead creative agency, Subway highlights the importance of sharing and kindness in the community, in a series of heartwarming videos, featuring people from different walks of life. One video features conflicts and dynamics in the workplace that can be overcome with patience.

Meanwhile, another set of short films showcases families and couples practising forgiveness, in time for a peaceful and fulfilling Ramadan.

In this video, a couple overcomes their differences and chooses love and forgiveness; a branching theme in the campaign.

Samad Mohd Shariff, country director for Subway SouthEast Asia said that their mission is simple—they want to bring family and friends together this Ramadan and now with the lifting of the restrictions, Shariff said they can.

“Ramadan is a season of celebration, family, and togetherness. We are excited to amplify this message through the Satu Kaki Lebih Mesra campaign in the local community, and through our seasonal value offerings, which are perfect for sharing, caring and spending time with our loved ones,” Shariff said.

On the project, Phoecus Lee, executive creative director of VMLY&R Commerce, shared, “We believe that creating great work requires brave clients, and we’re truly blessed to have supported clients who give us the trust to execute bold campaigns. We collaborated closely with Subway every step of the way and was able to further humanize the campaign with more relatable elements that spoke to Malaysians. More than just a meal, Subway to us, is a brand experience that brings people together this Ramadan.”

Hang Ee Laine, head of marketing of Subway Southeast Asia,
commented, “The partnership with local Malaysian artist Ernest Ng this year is a key milestone for us in our efforts to bring Subway closer to Malaysians, just in time for us to celebrate this Ramadan with our Malaysian community.”

With Satu Kaki Lebih Mesra, Subway Malaysia also introduced to the world their new mascot: the lovable, relatable Sabweh character. A beautiful brainchild of social media art sensation Ernest Ng, known for his ‘Don’t like that la bro’ comic series, Sabweh has made his debut across Malaysia, on limited-edition Raya packets, available for guests to redeem in-restaurant with any purchase.

In conjunction with this campaign, Subway restaurants in Malaysia introduced seasonal offerings for the whole family, including the Italian B.M.T., Roast Chicken, Steak & Cheese, and more at only RM19.00 for a footlong, starting from April 12 2022.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Hilton Malaysia launches campaign for Ramadan to inspire ‘family reconnection’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In line with the celebration of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, hospitality brand Hilton has reiterated its global campaign, ‘To New Memories’, with the launch of its Malaysian-based follow-up campaign, aimed at facilitating the reconnection of people through packages that fully embrace Ramadan traditions.

In 2021, Hilton debuted ‘To New Memories’, which was built on research insights that show consumers are craving reconnections with family and friends and are inspired by travel memories. For this year, the campaign will be encouraging families to make new memories as they spend some quality time with loved ones by offering special room and dining packages along with special arrangements to support their practices this holy month. These include changing breakfast hours to accommodate morning prayers, and providing prayer mats, the Quran, as well as prayer timetables within the guest rooms.

Eugene Oelofse, Hilton’s marketing and communications director for Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka, said, “Cherished family memories are at the heart of Hilton. We want guests to know that Hilton and our Team Members are ready to fully facilitate connection with loved ones during the month of Ramadan.”

All 11 Hilton outlets nationwide will partake in the Ramadan traditions of Iftar and Sahur, or the evening and early morning meal, with a specialised dinner buffet highlighting Malaysia’s Culinary Heritage and other central Asian specialities. This campaign will run until 3 May 2022.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Ramadan observance in SEA mid-pandemic sees surge in indexed traffic, sales: research

Singapore – As the Muslim tradition of Ramadan this year has been held twice in the mid of a pandemic, there has been an uprise of indexed traffic online, as well as sales pushed forward by online channels, new research from adtech Criteo shows.

According to the SEA-centric study, the online traffic surge was evident last 2 May, with a 26% increase in traffic and 21% increase in sales, respectively. Despite the uptick, the research noted that a notable dip was observed in the final week of the Ramadan period, with sales and traffic dropping below the baseline, which may be indicative of consumer’s caution in spending amid the ongoing economic downturn.

The large majority of SEA consumers used mobile apps when shopping during the Ramadan period, as mobile sales saw the largest lift throughout the Ramadan period this year, marking a 107% increase in sales at the end of the Ramadan period on 12 May. App sales also rose by 60%, earlier on 1 May. Meanwhile, desktop sales saw the smallest spike of 40% during the second week of Ramadan.

Criteo’s research data revealed that the growth in purchases this year have only been in two categories: fashion/luxury, and mass merchant products. Criteo also found that the fashion/luxury category outperformed mass merchants during Ramadan, with a 50% increase from baseline from 23 April to 5 May.

In 2019, however, top product categories were in health and beauty, electronics, toys, and games as well as home and living items. The trends observed this year are likely to be due to consumers not being able to commemorate Hari Raya in large social settings or house visitations, as a result of distancing measures.

Another distinct trend observed during Ramadan in previous years was a consistent rise in web traffic and sales for travel players. Before the COVID pandemic, prospective travelers usually searched travel websites during Ramadan, before making their bookings late in the month and after Ramadan, to make trips to celebrate Hari Raya with their family and friends. This was noticeably absent from this year’s data. 

“As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions across our region, worshippers had to adjust their observance of the holy month of Ramadan. With social distancing measures deterring gatherings in large groups, consumers are rethinking their buying patterns, regarding areas such as gift giving. It is key that marketers and brands understand these shifts and engage consumers with what they need the most, especially during important observances,” explained Taranjeet Singh, managing director for Southeast Asia and India at Criteo.

Marketing Featured South Asia’s latest Eid campaign stresses the message of ‘change starts with you’

Mumbai, India – With the conclusion of the Ramadan period through the Eid al-Fitr festivities, India-based crowdfunding platform has released a new campaign focusing on the message that in order to see change, it all starts within our actions.

Bearing the campaign name ‘#ChangeStartsWithYou’, the narrative follows the story of two young kids who write letters to each other. However, one grows concerned when he fails to receive a reply from his friend. Later he finds out his friend is in the hospital and struggling to pay hospital bills. He shares his concern with his mother to aid his ailing friend and support the family. aims that through this campaign, the message of the holy month of Ramadan which brings together family and friends to spread joy and happiness will be manifested. However, many families struggle to celebrate the spirit of festivities as they are battling for life in the hospital and the pile of medical bills is their growing concern. The campaign aims to focus on bringing change in people’s lives by the act of kindness and intend to help others in need.

According to Varun Sheth, CEO and co-founder at, the campaign captures the essence of festivities of how one can be a force for good and can bring change in people’s lives by doing small gestures.

“Thousands of families struggle to celebrate festivals as they are battling for life in the hospital and the heap of medical bills continues to haunt them. The campaign aims to focus on bringing change in people’s lives by the act of kindness and intention to help others in need,” Sheth stated. responds to the greater need of the Indian population regarding medical needs, as 80% of the population is estimated to lack any form of health insurance, and 63% of all medical emergency costs being out-of-pocket expenses, most families exhaust their entire savings and borrow money at high interest rates to finance their medical costs. Unaffordable medical treatment drives millions of families into the depths of poverty every year. Medical crowdfunding is an alternate option for such people who are in need of urgent money.

“At Ketto, our endeavor is to bridge the affordability gap and make quality healthcare accessible to all. Ketto has hosted over 20,000 campaigns based on facilitating medical needs and raised [more than] INR 200 crores from generous donors in the past year. These campaigns have enabled over 10,000 transplants and critical surgeries,” adds Sheth.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Perfumes, skincare products, kaftan–the trinity of this year’s Ramadan sought-after products: report

Singapore – As the Muslim religious holiday of Ramadan draws to its conclusion, new report from e-commerce company iPrice shows that three products are most sought by Muslim consumers in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, namely perfumes, skincare products and ‘kaftan’, a type of robe worn by Muslims and has been a distinct clothing article of Muslims in Southeast Asia.

According to the report, demand for perfume among SIngaporean consumers skyrocketed to 6078% compared to last year’s Ramadan. Other goods most-searched in Singapore include supplements, kurtas, cooktops and cookies, all which saw a huge spike in search at a rate of 2090%, 1974%, 1529%, and 452% in increase from last year respectively.

Meanwhile, skincare leads in the search history among Malaysian consumers, which increased by 8140% compared last year. Other sought-after products include perfume (6183%), Baju Melayu, a form of Malay clothing garment worn mostly by men (4241%), and even sofas (1262%).

Lastly, the Muslim-rich country of Indonesia saw that kaftan saw the highest surge of online searches, with a 8773% increase since last year. Other items include Gamis (a Muslim female clothing garment), Rok Muslimah (a casual version of Muslim female clothing), and Sarung (an Indonesian skirt), all of which saw a surge of 2813%, 1532%, 1850% respectively when compared to the same period last year.

iPrice also noted in their report that consumers in Singapore started their online shopping journey as early as 5 am, after a morning lull. Shopping activities reached its peak at lunch break at 2 pm and after Taraweeh (the night prayer) period at 9 pm up until 11 pm before bed.

Surprisingly, it was even earlier in Indonesia and Malaysia where people began to shop as early as 2 am and 4 am respectively. After the morning period, shopping sessions peaked again at 10 am in Indonesia and noon in Malaysia.

Smartphones have frequently been pulled out by consumers to purchase products online. This is evident because mobile emerged as the most used device for consumers in Singapore (55%), Malaysia (68%), and Indonesia (93%) to shop online than other devices within the first two weeks of Ramadan.

By comparison, the usage of desktops only showed 43% in Singapore, 31% in Malaysia, and 6.41% in Indonesia. This also proves that the mobility and the convenience of mobile transactions eclipsed tablet and desktop usage.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Tokopedia adds more ways for Muslims to carry out worship through new ‘Cash Waqf’ feature

Jakarta, Indonesia – Tokopedia has launched the ‘Cash Waqf’ feature, a charitable endowment digital feature to give Muslims in Indonesia more ways to carry out their worship. The feature is part of its Tokopedia Salam ecosystem – a channel for halal-certified and Muslim-friendly products and services.

The new feature enables users to donate money helping accelerate halal economic development. This is created in collaboration with several institutions, including the Indonesian Waqf Board (BWI), Dompet Dhuafa, and Rumah Zakat. 

Director of public policy and government relations at Tokopedia, Astri Wahyuni, said that the role of technology is becoming increasingly crucial in facilitating various aspects of people’s lives, including carrying out worship. 

“Starting from Rp.10,000, now anyone can help improve the welfare of others through the Cash Waqf feature on Tokopedia,” Wahyuni said.

“We hope that this feature can make it easier for people to share their kindness, especially during Ramadan, as well as to encourage digital equalization of the sharia economy in Indonesia,” added Wahyuni. 

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the BWI Implementing Body, Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Mohammad Nuh, DEA, shared, “Apart from being a form of worship, cash waqf has a socio-economic function and role, especially in building the country’s economic independence. This has become easier through collaboration between BWI and digital platforms such as Tokopedia. It is also in line with the direction of digital transformation that we are promoting. “

“Digital platforms such as Tokopedia play an important role in socializing the halal industry as well as encouraging waqf literacy in Indonesia. Hopefully, this initiative can accelerate the development of the sharia economy in order to strengthen national resilience,” said Ventje Rahardjo, the executive director of the National Committee for Sharia Economics and Finance (KNEKS).

The presence of the Cash Waqf feature is also a form of the platform’s support for the National Movement for Cash Waqf (GNWU) initiated by Indonesia’s government.

Besides ‘Cash Waqf’, the platform also has other charity features in Tokopedia Salam, such as Donation, Zakat, and Fidyah, as well as Charity Box, and Qurban.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

McDonald’s Singapore unveils new activation that reunites families this Ramadan

Singapore – To celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, McDonald’s Singapore has launched ‘My Happy Table’, a physical activation that uses technology and a camera set-up to help Singapore-based individuals ‘reunite’ with their families in Malaysia.

‘My Happy Table’ aims to help bridge the distance felt by Singaporean and Malaysian families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this experience, family members will once again be able to eat breakfast together as though they are seated at the same table.

The setup will be done within party rooms at the McDonald’s Canberra Plaza in Singapore and McDonald’s Taman Desa Tebrau in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. ‘My Happy Table’ will open for public usage starting from 23 April to 28 April, with the call for entry on 19 April. 

Furthermore, McDonald’s Singapore has also released a video to mark the launch of ‘My Happy Table’, showcasing its employees in Singapore who are originally from Malaysia, and highlighting the difficult decisions the employees have had to take to support their families. The video underscores their longing for their family, especially during Ramadan.

The activation and the filming of the launch video were done in partnership with Publicis Communications’ global advertising company Leo Burnett Singapore.

“‘My Happy Table’ at McDonald’s is our way of helping to narrow that distance by facilitating mini-reunions for Muslim families during this Ramadan. As a brand that celebrates family togetherness, we’re heartened to see our employees and customers reunite ‘virtually’ with their families and create happy memories during these trying times,” said Drina Chee, the senior director of marketing and digital customer experience at McDonald’s Singapore.

Meanwhile, Jennie Morris, the chief creative officer of Publicis Communications, commented, “McDonald’s is one of the few brands that can authentically participate in culture. ‘My Happy Table’ is a wonderful example of meaningful creativity, where even just for a few hours, McDonald’s could recreate the magic of sharing a meal together – showing that our Spirit of Ramadan is definitely stronger than the border that divides us.”