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Panasonic MY unravels the meaning behind the simple phrase ‘Sek Bao Mei’

Sek Bao Mei” (Have you eaten) is a common question that comes up in Malaysian Chinese culture, especially among family members. Using this insight, Panasonic Malaysia and Naga DDB Tribal produced a Chinese New Year film which follows the story of Bobby who just came back to his hometown from Kuala Lumpur for the festive season.

Throughout the film, everyone around him just asks the same question: “Sek Bao Mei?” (Have you eaten?) While the audience hears the same question repeated over and over again, the subtitles in the video reveal a different meaning behind the question.

Chew Keng Heng, GM, marketing innovation department, Panasonic Malaysia, said “Sek Bao Mei“, a very common and spontaneous phrase used among Malaysian Chinese community whenever people meet, has a deeper meaning than the literal meaning of “Have You Eaten”.

“It signifies warmth, caring for others, and in hindsight, reflecting the hardship one has to go through in earning a living (to feed oneself). At Panasonic, it is our fervent hope that this Chinese New Year, Malaysians from all walks of life will come together to celebrate, foster unity, and greet our visiting home guests with the warm wishing of ‘Sek Bao Mei’!” he added.

Meanwhile, Naga DDB Tribal’s creative group head Florence Lee said the team wanted to build brand love amongst its audience by finding the common message that both its idea and Panasonic share.

“As a household brand that prides themselves of caring for one’s family, we knew the overarching message should be about showing love and care this festive season. By using the simple and catchy question of ‘Sek Bao Mei’, we managed to bridge the idea and brand all while making the film a conversational piece that families can talk about during Chinese New Year,” Lee said.

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