Deepavali, or Diwali, is one of the important festivals of the year in Malaysia, especially among the Hindus. The festival of light which embraces family reunion, is a great occasion for people of all races and religions to come together and celebrate the rich Hindu culture.
Small clay lamps will be beautifully lighted to signify the triumph of good over evil and these lights will be kept on during the night. The Hindus will also perform spring cleaning for their homes prior to the festival in welcoming the goddess Lakshmi.
This year, some brands and agencies are taking the chance to spread the messages of love, happiness and unity in our multi-racial country in conjunction with the Deepavali celebrations tomorrow.
Check out some of the interesting spots for this year's campaigns that capture Malaysia’s multi-cultural diversity and values that make up the country's unique social fabric.
In celebration of the festival of lights, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) released a video titled #MayTravelLightUpYourLife, on its website and across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Filmed onboard MAS’ A380-800 and B737-800 aircraft, the 55-second video produced by M&C Saatchi shows a unique composition of multi-coloured lights in sync with upbeat rhythms of classical Indian music arranged specially for this video. The lights combined with the traditional instruments evoke a profound sense of togetherness. It also features the airline's cabin crew wishing viewers a joyous "Happy Deepavali" in Tamil.
To celebrate the festivities, MAS is also offering up to 40% discount on selected domestic destinations beginning today until 22 October 2017. Flights from Kuala Lumpur to a host of destinations will cost from RM402 to Surabaya, RM629 to Hong Kong, RM989 to Chongqing and RM999 to Mumbai or travel further to Auckland from RM2399. This promotion is valid for travel on 24 October 2017 until 31 March 2018.
Petronas wrapped up its festive campaigns for 2017 with the release of an web film. The company hopes its messages for social cohesion and unity would continue to resonate with all Malaysians on the many intrinsic values that bind and unify the people together as a nation.
Titled "Arathi’s First Love", the web film produced by Leo Burnett, follows the five young talents featured in all of Petronas’ festive web films this year as they experience another valuable life lesson through friendship and the spirit of forgiveness. It centres on the main character, Arathi, and her growing fondness towards a new transfer student, Ivan. Her friends mischievously tease and make fun of her new “love interest” which unintentionally end up hurting her feelings. They later realise their mistakes and muster the courage to apologise to Arathi during Deepavali. She willingly accepts the apology and forgives her friends as she learns the importance of forgiveness and how a simple act can strengthen and deepen their friendship.
“Arathi’s First Love marks the final festive webfilm production by Petronas this year. We are proud to close our festive campaigns for 2017 by presenting another warm and relatable Malaysian story that we hope will leave a lasting impression in the mind of every Malaysian," Petronas's senior general manager of group strategic communications, Zahariah Abd Rahman, said. Rahman added that the web film espouses the essence and spirit of Deepavali, which is celebrated to kindle the light of wisdom, kindness and compassion.
The oil giant also features a 90-second television commercial excerpt of the web film airing now until 27 October 2017.
For this year's Deepavali, telco Digi wants to emphasise that the "light" shines brighter when it is shared.
Conceptualised by Naga DDB Tribal, the ad features children from an orphanage (Rumah Vivekananda Rembau) who are asked what Deepavali means to them. The children respond by saying that it’s about spending time with friends and family, eating delicious food and doing fun stuff. They are then asked if they are willing to sacrifice one day to decorate an old folks home (Rumah Sejahtera Rembau) to make them happy in conjunction with Deepavali. The children agreed. Unbeknownst to the children, the grandmothers decide to surprise the children too. They decide to cook a feast for the children.
Towards the end, the narrator says, “The grandmothers thought that they were the ones who were going to put a smile on the faces of the children, but look who is smiling now. My mum always said that food that is shared always tasted better. And, sharing doesn’t stop with just food.”
"The film is about sharing a bit of yourself in whatever capacity you can to lighten up someone's day. The last line, 'food shared tastes better' which applies to anything is a poignant reminder of how we're meant to live our lives. That's that light we all have. It's also shot fully in Tamil, which is nice. We don't do that enough, I feel," Naga DDB Tribal's ECD Alvin Teoh, said.
“The simple but powerful idea about how an act of kindness ignites another presented by Naga was one we couldn’t let go off as it is a clear manifestation of Digi’s ‘let’s inspire’ brand philosophy in motion. How a simple act of kindness never fails to ignite another,” Bernard Lee, Digi’s head of marketing services, added.
This year, Celcom aims to reunite Malaysians with a Deepavali short film titled "5 Sekawan Datang Lagi" which revolves around friendship and family. The film features Hasnah, Bom Bom, Kumari, Maria and Su Mei from "Lagenda 5 Sekawan", which focused on how unity, friendship and love for another can help build a better nation.
M&C Saatchi was responsible for conceptualising and executing "Lagenda 5 Sekawan". The film draws inspiration from Malaysia's diverse culture, and how Malaysians live harmoniously regardless of race or religion. It also takes viewers back to 1979, where the girls create a memorable Deepavali for one of their own. The story celebrates friendship and togetherness, featuring a music score rich in heritage which was specially crafted to incorporate instruments from the major Malaysian ethnicities.
“We explored the insight that for many people, your close friends are your family. In line with the spirit of Deepavali, we felt that it was important we told the story of paying it forward amongst friends. Because we love our friends dearly, we almost every time put their happiness first regardless of their race and religion," Grace Chan, head of brand marketing at Celcom Axiata, said.
"As a brand, Celcom embraces diversity and celebrates unity. We are inclusive and embrace all cultures. In line with Deepavali, the festival of lights, may we put aside our differences and come together as Malaysians. I’m grateful to be Malaysian, to live in a country that advocates tolerance and promotes harmony," Chan added.
RHB invites Malaysians to be sweet and share their blessings with one another during Deepavali with its latest film "Be Sweet". Created by FCB Kuala Lumpur and produced by Chilli Pepper Films, the spot features Malaysian football star Thanabalan Nadarajah and marks the fourth collaboration between RHB and FCB. The agency was brought on-board earlier this year.
In the film, Nadarajah made Deepavali treats and distributed them to his family, friends and neighbours. He urged Malaysians to "do something for each other this Deepavali".
Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, RHB’s chief marketing officer, said, “The film celebrates togetherness and the small but important things that binds communities together. We needed a lead that could bring people together and Nadarajah’s ability to do that both on and off the pitch made him a natural choice.”
“While the story of light overcoming darkness is a common theme during Deepavali, there are other aspects that make up the celebration, like the exchange of sweets. While it marks the victory of good over evil, it also a sign of bringing prosperity to someone's home. Now, who doesn't love a sweet year ahead?” Ravi Costa, associate creative director FCB Kuala Lumpur, added.