It is often a habit for consumers to change money at the eleventh hour during festive seasons such as Hari Raya or Chinese New Year. As such, they often encounter a shortage of RM1 dollar notes at banks. This insight sparked the creation of a mockumentary BIRU, which tells the story of an RM1 dollar note from his point of view.
Conceptualised and produced by The (8)gency, Graph Studio and Mo Nazmi, the writer behind Kucing Happy and Pengacau Raya, BIRU shows the RM1 dollar note expressing disappointment with how he is treated, being constantly ignored and pushed aside until the Ramadan period, during which everybody suddenly wants a piece of him.
The film also took the opportunity to subtly address current issues close to the heart of Malaysians such as racism and discrimination. In the film, BIRU implied that he is ignored because of his “skin colour”, as consumers show preference towards the RM100 note.
According to Mo Nazmi, Ramadan is a period when many Muslims queue at banks at the last minute to exchange RM1 notes for the upcoming Raya celebrations. Based on this insight, the team believed there was an opportunity to create awareness and encourage them to visit the banks earlier.
Derrik Yaw, founder of Graph Studio said while this started as a mere idea, the team did not see it in any festive ads. He believed that the “strong insight” would lead to a message that all Malaysians could benefit from. Joshua Desmond, co-founder of The (8)gency added that the film serves as a reminder to cross off one of the most important things on the never ending list of Raya To-Do’s.
Check out the video here: