Julie's Biscuits cracks the mould by tackling age-old gender issues in Raya ad

Julie's Biscuits has launched a new Hari Raya campaign that tackles issues around gender equality. Working with GOVT Singapore, the ad takes an inside look at the production of typical Raya ads of the past, where women have been cast in stereotypical roles. In Ini Iklan Raya, Tau? the women break from script to raise questions to the director on why they are given certain stereotypical roles.

Sharing the advertisement on their social media pages, Julie's said in its LinkedIn post that women certainly play an important role in every aspect, including its Raya ad. "It turns out that now they dare to come forward and not be shackled to the same script again," it added. 

Tzy Horng Sai, director of Julie's, said the idea of the ad came from enshrining women and the real work and roles they do and play in every facet of our lives. Sai added, "The stereotypes however problematically pigeonhole them in restrictive roles in the kitchen and at home when we know that they do so much more by somestimes being the breadwinner, taking care of the family etc and where many of them probably singlehandedly hold down the festive traditions."

"Every marketing communication is an opportunity to change some mindsets and be reflective. For a biscuit brand, this opportunity reminds us that ‘flipping the script’ helps us understand ourselves better and be more receptive to change," Sai added. He said that humour can disarm people in an assuring and a relaxed way, which renders so much clarity when questioning stereotypes or traditionally held truths.

“This ad isn’t meant to be a lecture, or an admonishment of any kind. We just wanted to make people chuckle and realise that the women in our lives are more than just caretakers and melodramatic criers. They bring way more to the table than just food. And they deserve our love for it,” Kevin Joseph, associate creative director at GOVT, said.

"Diversity is a key conversation that is important for us. But we like that there can be a light hearted way to remind ourselves that we can always change the script in every small way,” added on Alvina Seah, managing director, GOVT.

The ad features notable names in the Malaysian acting scene such as Fauziah Nawi, Sharifah Shahira, Batrisyia Razak and Amerul Affendy, and was directed by Junad M. Nor. With the exception of Joseph, GOVT also put in place an all-female team.

This was not the only instance where Julie's Biscuits collaborated with GOVT in campaign. In January 2020 Julie’s Biscuits launched a film titled "Operation Maybe". As part of its earlier rebranding campaign,  the biscuit company aimed to elevate its new look and spread its reinvigorated message of confidence through its film. 

The film featured a Malaysian cast including Indi Nadarajah, Fabian Loo, Amanda Ang and Bella Rahim. It tells the story of Julie's marketing head, Raju, proposing to rebrand the company but was met with a "maybe" from his boss, which Raju deems as disapproval. Raju then gathered different colleagues in the company to physically change the logo outside the building to let his boss see what a good idea it is. According to a press release, the story-line is fictionalised, comical take inspired by Julie’s actual real-life multi-layered rebranding process, including internal management, employee and stakeholder consultations and navigating insights from actual Julie’s consumers and focus groups.

The film follows its decision to refresh its 35-year-old brand logo, giving it a younger look. Sai said it was time for a makeover to "express who we are and what we stand for". In the new logo, Julie has short hair and wears a hairband with a red ribbon at the top, as well as a blue outfit. She is looking forward and upwards in the new logo.

Related articles: 
Julie's Biscuits gets whimsical with new sonic branding after refresh
Julie's Biscuits ad with GOVT SG follows story of 'fictionalised' marketing head
Julie's Biscuits refreshes brand logo after 35 years to 'make biscuits young again'