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Listen, listen, listen, listen…

Malaysians are once again having a field day on social media, responding to a viral video of Sharifah Zohra Jabeen, president of Suara Wanita 1 Malaysia (SW1M), berating and criticising a student at a forum held at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in Kedah.

In the video, which has garnered over 225,000 views on Youtube, excluding Facebook, Jabeen interrupts student Bawani K.S., who was voicing her opinion on the right to free education, by asking Bawani to ‘listen’ repeatedly (11 times).

Jabeen also said to Bawani, “When I speak, you listen” and “I’m very sorry that some of the things you have proven, you have the very least of pendidikan [education] [sic]”. Jabeen went on to say, “You know who else has problems? Animals have problems. Sharks have problems. Cats have problems. Dogs have problems. Cows and goats have problems.”

Not long after the video went viral, Nando’s, in its typical fashion, released an ad on Facebook at lunchtime today (Jan 15).

The ad, with the copy “Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Our chicks are A-Okay. At Nando’s, we make sure our chicks are the finest in the country. Made even better after basting and grilling with Peri-Peri”, garnered much support from most Facebook users and even managed to convert non-fans to fans.

Comments on the ad included “No wonder I  love to eat Nando’s so much! You have my full support!!”, “I’m so eating Nando’s tonight” and “Nando’s your creativity amazes me” and “Somehow this makes me feel like eating more Nando’s, just so they will have money to keep produce [sic] this kind of witty adverts”.

When asked by A+M, VJ Anand creative director at Creative Juice, Nando’s creative agency, said the ad took a matter of a few hours to create. “We were working on it last night. It was sent to Nando’s this morning and it was approved by lunchtime,” Anand said.

“In fact, even before the ad was posted, I was asked whether there would be any ads from Nando’s. People were actually expecting an ad from the brand,” Anand continued.

Nando’s Malaysia has been one of the most reactive brands in the country to respond to current affairs. “It has always been our strategy to look at current topics that are of interest to the nation. In this case, the viral video is the most talked about topic right now,” Fanny Chai, Nando’s regional marketing manager, tells A+M.

When asked whether Nando’s ads have raised any eyebrows among the authorities, Chai said no, explaining that it is clear that the brand will not criticise, put down or take sides in its communications when referring to a current issue.

Chai explains that the brand has always had a good work relationship with the agency, maintaining constant communication and mutual understanding of the brand’s guidelines from the very beginning.

“Even from the start, we’d established with the agency all the do’s and don’ts and our strategy on reacting to current topics. Of course, it also helps that we have the approval and blessings from the senior management. This is a global strategy for the brand,” Chai tells A+M.

“At the end of the day, we want our fans to laugh. Creativity adds a bit of flavour into our lives,” Anand says. As at time of writing, the ad has been shared more than 6,550 times and liked more than 3,500 times.

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