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Why Mamee Monster believes turning back time will keep it relevant

Why Mamee Monster believes turning back time will keep it relevant

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Mamee Monster released released a limited edition retro design packs in commemoration of its founder, Datuk Pang Chin Hin’s passing in November last year. The release is part of the brand’s new campaign titled "The Mamee monster’s world of Nowstalgia" where the company aims to leverage childhood nostalgia to create a modern packaging, all while retaining the charm of Mamee’s old monster packs. An ode to the 1970s version of Mamee Monster’s packaging, the brand will be plastering the iconic Mamee Monster on its family pack bags starting this month for the Malaysia market. In a conversation with A+M, Mamee’s chief marketing officer, How Yuan Yi, said that all of the elements – be it designs, colours, or music – is aimed at evoking memories of a simpler time, before the rise of the internet and social media.

It is to remind people that even in today’s high-tech, fast-moving, ever-evolving world, there’s always room for the simple pleasures, such as a pack of Mamee Monster noodle snack, she explained. This thinking traces back to the launch of the brand which first made its debut in 1974 after Datuk Pang’s eldest son, Mamee Double Decker’s executive chairman, Tan Sri Pang Tee Chew was inspired by rubber tappers eating uncooked instant noodles. The father-son duo then decided to steer noodle production in a new direction by pre-seasoning them before selling them.

Explaining the play on nostalgia further, How said this form of marketing appeals to sentimentality. Taking inspiration from modern hashtags and trends such as #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT, How says these are indications that even in the fast paced world of tech and social, consumers crave those moments of nostalgia – and this goes beyond Malaysia. How’s words resonated with even brands such as Tiger Beer which launched campaigns such as ‘The Brewery, uncaged’ – a retro modernist campaign that dramatises Tiger Beer’s brewing process, ingredients and the attitude that goes into every bottle of Tiger Beer.

“There’s a certain comfort in seeing something familiar from their childhood days. Relatability and happy memories evoke a strong emotional response in people,” she said. Coming back to the Mamee Monster campaign, How added, “Our main goal with this campaign was to pay tribute to the late Datuk Pang but we’re also certain that many Malaysians will be excited to see the Mamee Monster of yesteryears back on the packaging.”

Keeping an old brand fresh

While brand might be close to 50 years of age, its main target audience cuts across ages 18 to 35 year old – many of whom have grown up with the snack. As such, keeping the old brand fresh is paramount to the longevity of the brand.

When it comes to creation of new ideas, How says inspiration comes from all areas not just independent individuals. Other than looking at what else is present in the market, Mamee also has a dedicated in-house R&D team who continuously innovate and improve the product to be a better version.

“Ideas are usually not form independently but inspired by different forms and shapes,” said How.

She added that Mamee has always embraced innovation and change – and that’s how the brand came around. While he did not share the investment the brand makes into digital, she added that  it is an “essential percentage” and digital marketing is an integrated part of marketing nature to connect with our consumer.

Social is also an area the company invests heavily into, explained How.

“We believe in listening to our consumers and also keeping in touch with trends and applying what we’re constantly learning to move things forward,” she said. Social media is also a big area of investment for the brand which prides itself to be a “trendsetter” to keep a abreast with the latest developments in social conversations.

Referencing the collaboration with Malaysian lifestyle brand Oxwhitein 2020 where the two produced 900 limited-edition t-shirts, How said “We also do not settle for the usual but continue to explore exciting new flavours and bring them to the market for our consumers”.

Mamee also collaborated with We Bare Bears to launch a new limited edition rendang flavoured Mamee as well. 

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