Malaysia SME has produced a sitcom entitled Small Mission Enterprise (S.M.E.), marking its first foray into television, with the support of Canon Marketing Malaysia, AXA Affin General Insurance and DHL Express Malaysia for the first season.
The project was done to acknowledge the challenges of budding entrepreneurs, while taking a light-hearted approach in showcasing the importance of SMEs.
“We have been creating awareness about SMEs through other media outlets, while government and non-government organisations have also held many events to help out SMEs,” said Wayne Lim, CEO of Malaysia SME.
The sitcom, directed by comedian Douglas Lim, focuses on three characters and the challenges they go through as they begin their own start-ups.
It saw an investment of RM1.5 million on its first season and is planned to run for two more, with season two having an increased budget to RM1.7 – RM1.8 million. Season two will commence production early next year.
The tie-up is a first for AXA, which has always relied on the conventional medium of advertising.
AXA incorporated their branding in the sitcom storyline with one of the main characters being an AXA agent. She will be the advisor to the other characters in the sitcom, educating and emphasising the importance of insurance for their businesses.
Chief operating officer of AXA Affin General Insurance Tan Sek Kee said by leveraging on the sitcom, which is seen as an unconventional medium of advertising and branding, it is redefining the way it reaches the market in order to create awareness of the brand.
“We were sceptical with the idea at the beginning, but after going through the concept and how the storyline is developed to incorporate our brand, we are confident that people can relate the stories, what we do in AXA and what we have to offer,” added Tan.
The sitcom will also showcase DHL Express through a logistics episode that will highlight the decision of choosing a logistics partner for an SME as one of the most important decisions that entrepreneurs have to make.
“We wanted to leverage this unique opportunity to forge a relationship with the target audience as well as infuse the spirit and passion of our brand,” said David Ng, managing director of DHL Express Malaysia and Brunei.
Ng believes that the sitcom will offer DHL Express a brand new avenue in reaching to customers and show them the importance for SMEs to choose an ideal logistics partner.
In reaching out to the urban audience, ntv7 was chosen for season one’s debut this October. The channel will be running promotional campaigns leading up to the season premiere.