Panasonic MY's CNY spot divides netizens, some say ad 'objectifies women'

Panasonic Malaysia has divided netizens with its latest Lunar New Year ad which features three sisters finding out at the eleventh hour that their grandmother is visiting. They then engage in the classic game of "Lat Talilat Tali Tam Pom" to decide who should be the one tidying up the house.

Subsequently, they break out into a dance while singing along to lyrics such as "Who's the greatest in the house - Panasonic", "Clean it up with, "Lat Talilat Tali Tam Pom" and "Life's so easy with Panasonic". The Facebook video garnered 5.6k reactions, 446 comments and 1.6k shares at the time of writing.

Some netizens complimented the video for being "entertaining", "trendy", "fresh" and "one of the best CNY ads ever". They also likened the dancers to popular South Korean girl group BLACKPINK. Meanwhile, there were others who also called out the ad for objectifying women and using them as "a sex symbol" to sell products. They also criticised the video for showing only females doing household chores. Some also wondered why the girls were wearing shoes inside the house while advertising for a vacuum cleaner.

A+M has reached out to Panasonic Malaysia for comment.

In a statement to A+M, RESERVOIR Production's founding partner and executive producer Ryan Khoo said it wanted to do something "entertaining" and "captivating" that would allow consumers to relate to and go viral. At the same time, RESERVOIR wanted to showcase the convenience and effectiveness of Panasonic's household appliances.

"We landed on the idea of K-pop since the K-pop fever in Malaysia is probably the hottest in the region. We took the opportunity to translate that into Malaysian mandarin pop and simply have fun with the household appliances to entice the audience," Khoo explained.

Addressing netizen comments regarding  dancers for wearing shoes while promoting the vacuum cleaner, Khoo added that one of the discussion points during the pre-production meetings was the "No shoes in the house" rule. However, RESERVOIR made the creative call to have the dancers wear them as it would be more comfortable while dancing. He also said that the shoes complemented the outfit and environment.

Panasonic is not the only brand to have created a K-pop inspired video to promote its products in the recent months. Last October, Marrybrown rolled out a similar video to draw attention to its latest Korean Hot Chicks Sensation menu. The four girls in the video were singing and dancing to the lyrics, which read “Korean hot chicks are so hot wei. Not the ones in Gangnam, we are talking about Marrybrown”.