10 stories that got you clicking in 2017

What a year it has been for the marketing and advertising world! Good or bad news, we all learn and most importantly, we move forward in hope of a much better year ahead.

From ads facing backlash, global rebranding to brands poking fun at competitors, A+M has gathered this year’s top reader favourites in Malaysia. Let’s take a ride down the memory lane before we end this year with a bang:

1. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s CNY ad slammed for being ‘meaningless’

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s Chinese New Year spot did not strike gold in the world of social. Unforgiving netizens described the ad posted on Mercedes Benz Malaysia’s official Facebook as “terrible”, “meaningless”, “low class” and “a waste of money”. However, with regards to the entire campaign idea, Mark Raine, vice president, sales and marketing passenger cars, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia said the social media clips “compliments the overall campaign taking on a different angle with a humorous and light-hearted twist”. He added, especially on social media, the platform lends itself to communicating with a wider audience while using material “with a more real-life touch and feel” as opposed to filming a full-fledged TVC. Read more here.

2. Watsons Malaysia’s blackface Raya ad labelled racist by netizens

Watsons Malaysia’s Raya ad was facing tremendous backlash from netizens for the use of blackface. The 15-minute long video which was part of its Watson Legenda Cun campaign was removed upon the negative response. The commercial was about a rich merchant played by Kamal Adli, who held a talent audition in hopes of meeting the mysterious girl with the beautiful voice played by Ruhainies, who keeps appearing in his dreams. The ad did not sit well with many people, and was labelled racist, sexist, insensitive and tasteless. It featured a number of Malaysian celebrities including Amber Chia, Uqasha Senrose, Sasha Saidin, Raja Ilya, Thanuja and Luqman Hafidz. Read more here.

3. Motorola takes a dig at Samsung Galaxy weeks after Samsung roasts Apple

Motorola took a leaf out of Samsung’s page when it took a dig at the Galaxy series in its latest spot titled “The up-upgrade with the moto z²”. This followed Samsung’s recent ad, “Growing Up”, which roasted generations of iPhones. The spot begins with the protagonist looking over his shoulder while crossing the road and shaking his head, mirroring the behaviour of the protagonist in Samsung’s “Growing Up” ad. Upon reaching home, the protagonist begins watching a video on his Samsung Galaxy and he is joined by his girlfriend shortly after, who smirks at him while he shows off his new phone. Online reactions were mixed, with some commending Motorola for the “clap back” and the interesting ending, while others said they will still stick to Samsung. Read more here.

4. Say goodbye to these 17 ad formats on Facebook

Facebook revealed that it would discontinue 17 ad formats which are rarely used and not “closely tied” to advertiser objectives. This is to better help advertisers drive business outcomes while providing consumers with more engaging experiences. All affected ad formats were removed by 15 September 2017. Meanwhile, campaigns that were using retired formats shifted to supported ad types by 29 September 2017 or had its delivery paused. In a post detailing the move, Facebook said the change allows it to improve and expand its most effective advertising products, and help advertisers better identify solutions which reach their goals. Prior to the move, businesses were able to boost any Page post type, including notes, life events, anniversaries and even relationship status updates. Read more here.

5. From orange to pink: foodpanda undergoes global rebrand

The iconic orange that we have gotten so used to will no longer be around as food delivery service provider foodpanda got a fresh new look. The rebrand followed its acquisition by tech giant Delivery Hero in December 2016, changing its brand colour from orange to pink. While the iconic panda will still remain at the forefront of its logo, it has been tweaked into a rounder and more “modern” version. According to the company, the new logo aims to be more memorable. Also, foodpanda’s font has also been updated to be more contemporary, which is in line with the brand’s new direction. Read more here.

6. Durex China stirs up co-brand interaction storm on Thanksgiving

While Thanksgiving is not a popular festival in China, a Durex-initiated “Weibo war” managed to stir up interesting attention among brands and netizens, in conjunction with the celebration. From 10am to 11pm on this year’s Thanksgiving Day, Durex China’s Weibo account published “Thank You” posts to 13 brands in seemingly unrelated fields. Even cheekier, the 13 “chosen brands” felt obliged to welcome or thank Durex back for something else, which left netizens no choice but to stay attentive to their Weibo accounts to see what’s next. Read more here.

7. Top 7 Malaysian bank brands show strong growth in ASEAN

Having reported steady growth, a report by Brand Finance Titled top 500 Banking Brands 2017, revealed that all Malaysian banks have improved their global rankings. aybank and CIMB remained crowned as the top 10 ASEAN bank brands and the top two Malaysian Bank brands in the global brand ranking. This was followed by Public Bank, RHB Bank, Hong Leong Financial, AmBank and Bank Islam respectively. Read more here.

8. Malaysia marketing salary guide 2017

2017 seems to be a good year for the digital marketing and e-commerce industry. Recruitment firm Robert Walters showed earlier in June that hiring activity was expected to remain strong in this industry, especially with the expansion of new businesses. The report suggested that since there is a shortage of professionals with sufficient digital marketing experience, job seekers with these niche skills are likely to be paid up to 30% more when they move to a new employer. Meanwhile, other professionals switching jobs in these sectors can expect salary rises of 15% to 20%. However, the report indicated that there could be a mismatch between the salary expectations of job seekers, who were hoping for higher salaries in 2017, and hiring budgets, which might not follow suit. Overall, the report highlighted that technology professionals with good programming skills will continue to be in demand. Read more here.

9. AirAsia’s sexually charged ad meets online turbulence

AirAsia removed a Facebook post which came under fire from netizens who called it sexist. The caption on the Facebook post read “OMG! (tap to see)” over an animated picture of a woman who was holding two semi circles over her chest. With a tap, the image would reveal her holding the figure “99” to indicate the airline’s cheap fare with a caption  “You are not seeing things! 10,000 seats from RM99.” In response to the incident, an AirAsia’s spokesperson told A+M that the team was aware of the “feedback received towards an advertisement posted on its Facebook page” and apologised for “the inconvenience caused by the advertisement”. Read more here.

10. Malaysia’s myBurgerLab takes a jab at the McDonald’s Nasi Lemak Burger

Lastly, Malaysian burger joint myBurgerLab’s launch of its Nasi Lemak Ayam Rendang burger ahead of Merdeka Day, sparked debate between Malaysians and Singaporeans on social media. Some netizens expressed their excitement and delight for the new burger, which was launched following the release of the Nasi Lemak burger by McDonald’s in Singapore. However, others who were not very impressed called myBurgerLab “copycats”. Read more here.

Venus Hew

Marketing Magazine Singapore
Brimming with high energy, Venus Hew is passionate about topics such as digital, social media, e-commerce, hospitality, airlines and brand marketing. An avid traveler, with a penchant for singing and hosting, Venus enjoys connecting with individuals from all walks of life. She unwinds by spending time with her loved ones and watching movies on Netflix.

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