A look at how brands in Malaysia are celebrating Deepavali 2018

Malaysia has made a name for itself when it comes to creating ads during the festive seasons. As Malaysians get geared up to celebrate the festival of lights, otherwise known as Deepavali (Diwali) tomorrow, the ad industry is also flexing its creative muscle to spread messages of love and happiness in the country.

According to statistics from Meltwater, conversations around the festivities really took off from 1 November 2018 onwards.

Meanwhile Petronas' ad seemed to have really made a mark with Malaysians, coming up as one of the most talked about themes.

Here are some of the ads we spotted this year.

INTI University

INTI International University & Colleges decided to take a road less taken this Deepavali and explored the use of stop motion animation. Timothy Johnson, INTI’s senior VP for marketing, products and partnerships said rather than a standalone video, the university explored a multi-faceted approach this year, using characters that students could engage with both on and off the screen.

To bring to life these unique characters, INTI collaborated with self-taught Malaysian visual artist Ruby Subramaniam and local production house Bawah Pokok Entertainment. Subramaniam was responsible for molding and shaping each clay character and giving them various expressions. The video uses animals inspired by the deities in Hindu mythology. The concept essentially highlights the rich culture behind the Hindu religion and aims at creating awareness on the real reason behind the Deepavali celebration - which is to awaken the inner self within oneself and celebrate light defeating darkness.

“Stop motion videos require significantly more time and precision. In spite being shorter than many of our previous videos, the process of creating characters from scratch, of shooting these palm-sized figurines and then editing the story into a comprehensive whole required a lot more attention to detail than shooting actual actors," Johnson said.

He explained that the video aims to inspire students, especially those who are already actively developing content, to try their hand at different mediums. "In doing so, they develop their creative and technical skills which they can then take with them into their future careers," Johnson said.

Tenaga Nasional

Tenaga Nasional Berhad working with Reprise Malaysia, IPG Mediabrands Malaysia’s full-service global performance media marketing unit has once again presented a quirky, yet charming short film titled "Kurumbu Kudumbam". The light-hearted film that is based on the Indian cultural tradition of Thalai Deepavali, which is the first Deepavali celebrated by an Indian couple after their marriage, in the bride’s family home. The film follows a young groom Ramesh as he is left feeling slightly bewildered by strange behaviour on the part of his in-laws.

Datuk Wira Roslan Ab Rahman, chief corporate officer of Tenaga Nasional, said the company wanted to play out the strong family ties that embodies individuals as Malaysians, and the theme is timely as the country embraces the spirit of acceptance.

"We strongly believe in brightening people’s lives and bringing people together, which is why we wanted the film to convey a message of togetherness, acceptance and unity despite our many differences and quirks, that is most often seen in the typical family. We also wished to extend this message of celebration of light, joy and hope to all those observing Deepavali in Malaysia. Ultimately though, this is a universal message that resonates with us all, and it was good to once again work with the team at Reprise to flesh out these nuances with a touch of light hearted mischief," he added.

Stanley Clement, managing director of Reprise, said, “Thalai Deepavali is something that is practiced, but isn’t known widely, even amongst Indians. We wanted to take the opportunity to highlight this practice as it demonstrates values of family ties and acceptance, and digging deeper, helps us see that we have lots more similarities than differences between cultures. It is these similarities that give us a better sense of connection and togetherness, and allows us to forge deeper understanding amongst each other as Malaysians.”

The film is scheduled to air across all TNB social media channels and free-to-air TV networks from 1 November.


PETRONAS has done it again with its ad titled "#Monochrome". Airing on social media, the post has already gotten over 40k reactions. It starts off showcasing a somewhat tense relationship between a father and son, which results in the son abruptly leaving the house.  Unable to stay still, his father decides to follow him through back alleys, only to find him at a photo exhibition.

In a statement to A+M, Leo Burnett's spokesperson said the video will run on Facebook, YouTube, TV, Instagram and in cinemas. The spokesperson added that PETRONAS has always had a beautiful history of telling stories that are relevant, relatable and engaging to the audience through the values of each festive.

"For Deepavali, a festival that celebrates light over darkness, we dug deep to find an age-long tension that was still very relevant amongst the Indian community and many other fellow Malaysians today - the different expectations a parent and child has for one another," the spokesperson said.

Watch the emotional reunion. P.s: Get your tissues out.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines has also released its Deepavali spot detailing the keeping in mind its stewardesses who fly around the world during these festive seasons. Sharing a story of a competitive but loving mother and daughter, the spot details the symbolic representation of the "kolam". The spot weaves in the different colours and thoughts that go behind the dishes served in the air. The ad was created by M&C Saatchi.

Check out the spot below:


Enrico’s is a household brand among Malaysians with 27 years of quality products, has decided to invoke the nostalgic and emotional moments often remembered during Deepavali to make us realise family and parental values when we celebrate festivals.  The core theme of this inaugural campaign titled “Ninaivugal” (Memories) is to showcase the childhood days of a small estate family and is narrated by the youngest son, Kumar. It starts with the early days and how they used to be happy as a family, enjoying the small thrills of playing marbles, eating raw eggs, drinking milk straight when it is being milked and many other memorable events in their lives.

The full video is eight minutes and also comes with a two minute shorter version for TV.  The whole concept and story was worked out by Enrico’s marketing team with Candyman Productions and the director was Ravi Varma.

CEO of Enrico’s , SK Sundaram feels that this video has touched the hearts of many Malaysians as the story relates to any Malaysian and makes them recall their past and value their parents’ sacrifices and great values they had instilled in all of us. The video has been widely broadcasted through social media and it is also being aired on StarVijay TV for two weeks. It will be aired on Deepavali day when the whole day programs are being sponsored by Enrico’s .


Really upping its creative game this year is Digi Malaysia. The telco has created a catchy fusion tamil-rap song just for the occasion. Some of the netizen comments however feed backed that if the brand should also consider having a Malaysian singer star in the song, but others defended the brand for celebrating the occasion in style.