PM Mahathir fronts campaign to encourage studying abroad in Malaysia

Non profit organisation Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) has roped in Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to encourage young individuals worldwide to study in Malaysia. Done in collaboration with FCB KL, the approximately three-minute long video shows the PM sharing the benefits of studying in Malaysia with viewers.

“Education is one of the most important aspects in our lives. It is crucial for the development of nations, their people, their economies and their societies. I would like to encourage all the young people out there currently considering their path in education to come and study in Malaysia,” he said.

He added that Malaysia offers a proven, well-balanced private and public education system that has successfully produced graduates who excelled in their careers. The PM also said that students who study abroad become explorers and Malaysia is in an “amazing part of the world” where many cultures co-exist. By studying in Malaysia, they will be able to experience various customs, traditions, cuisines and “astonishing social dynamics”. PM Mahathir also said that studying in Malaysia “is a journey worth taking and an experience worth cherishing”.

The campaign will across multiple platforms including social media, TV, online, newspapers and magazines.  EMGS deputy CEO Wafiy Abdul Aziz told A+M in a statement that its main focus is to reach out to the local audience in the target markets with content customised to the local culture and language.

The video is also part of its its rebranding exercise which EMGS embarked on in April to position itself as a premier agency that promotes Malaysia as a leading education destination. As such, the campaign will run for a few years, he said. Previously, EMGS was only widely known as a visa processing company despite having a wider mandate.

As of December 2018, there are approximately 170,000 foreign students in Malaysia from over 135 countries. Through this campaign, EMGS aims to increase the number to about 200,000 by 2020 and 250,000 by 2025.

“The release of the ‘Study in Malaysia’ video by PM Mahathir is the first phase of the campaign. We will benchmark and recalibrate our campaign based on input from our stakeholders to ensure effectiveness and a good return on investment,” he said.

In a statement to A+M, FCB KL’s co-owner and CEO Shaun Tay said promoting Malaysia to the world is a big part of what it does as a locally-owned Malaysian agency. “We’re proud of the work and how it opens up a new conversation amongst foreign students looking for a diverse and exciting learning experience. That’s always and even been our key focus – creating behaviour,” he said.

Separately, EMGS said in an earlier press statement that it is focusing on digital marketing, branding and expanding networks to position Malaysia as a leading education destination. EMGS said it will tap into emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and the Middle East and North Africa with “a refreshed perspective”. A new digital marketing plan will also be revealed by the second quarter of 2019, which will be more targeted to complement its physical presence abroad. This includes participating at “impactful” education exhibitions.

The digital marketing plan aims to deliver fresh content, accelerate information consumption and increase engagement with active participation of its higher education institution partners. EMGS also aims to offer the Malaysian University English Test to international students abroad, not only as a competitive education product, but also as a means to facilitating the enrollment process.

Additionally, EMGS wil also focus on introducing new technologies and innovation such as AI. It also aims to strengthen collaboration with education agents and other third parties, as well as increase transparency and accountability. According to EMGS, agents still account for about 50% of intakes from emerging markets. To boost transparency, it is currently reviewing and renegotiating past agreements to reduce costs, increase returns and deliver better value to all relevant stakeholders.

Campaign credits:

Client: Education Malaysia Global Services
Deputy Chief Executive Officer: Wafiy Abdul Aziz
Head of Marketing: Esther Low
Senior Manager, Digital Marketing & Data Analytics: Azmi Ahmad Fathil
Assistant Manager, International Marketing: Raja Fariz Raja Eyuddin
Communications & Branding Executive: Mazlifah Abu Bakar

Agency: FCB Kuala Lumpur
Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer: Shaun Tay
Co-Owner and Chief Creative Officer: Ong Shi Ping
Head of Account Management: Sharon Rodrigues
Head of Business Development: Syahriza Badron
Creative Group Head/Copywriter: Mandy Chock
Senior Art Director: Tay Yin May
Producer: Brandon Chai
Account Executive: Foong See Hwa

Production House: KDCo
Executive Producer: Fendi Harjoh
Director: Liang Wei

Audio production: 2AM