Exclusive: How PLUS Malaysia created the Best TVC for Raya 2019

3 months ago

When it comes to Hari Raya commercials, there is always a special place in our hearts for these jewels of advertising folklore.

These short films never fail to mesmerize us with salient notes of love, gratitude, kindness, respect and understanding.

As they say, it’s always about the little things in life that truly matter. As always, our readers determined the top Hari Raya TVC for 2019 through an online survey.

The TVC from PLUS Malaysia came out on top!

This advertisement by Plus Malaysia hit all the right notes and brought a real tearjerker of a story with a plot twist at the very end.

We managed to track responses from the team at PLUS Malaysia Berhad, Reservoir Production and the actors that pulled off this memorable TVC.

Message from Datuk Azman Ismail, MD and CEO of PLUS MALAYSIA BHD

“This is PLUS Malaysia’s first ever Raya web film…we wanted to continue with the spirit of CNY Shou Xin’s entertaining storytelling with strong core values,” said Datuk Azman Ismail, managing director and chief executive officer of PLUS Malaysia Bhd.

“TUMPANG is a story of two men, Pak Man and Amir whose lives are unexpectedly intertwined.

Throughout the film, the idea of silaturahim is explored…the relationships we have developed with our loved ones and the ones placed around us, is a direct reflection of our relationship we have with Allah SWT,” he explained.

Datuk Azman said that no matter the age, background or race, we are called to love one another and help one another – the underlying core value of PLUS for the past 9 years.

“For those who have been given the privileges in life, it is our duty to lend our privilege in any way possible to those who need it…at PLUS, we strive to live this out by providing comfort and convenience through our infrastructure and services,” he said.

“Like many of us, through the act of helping others, we are taught unexpected lessons…it is no coincidence that Pak Man and Amir’s path has crossed,” he stressed.

“Just like in our lives, it is no coincidence that we meet certain people in our lives…those people are here to encourage the good in us, whether it is to grow in generosity, to grow in patience, to grow in forgiveness or to grow in gratitude,” he added.

Datuk Azman said that whomever we meet this Raya, we hope that they will bring you blessings just as you will to them.”Just as these two men are very different in every aspect, one act of kindness and their journey together brings about a lesson: there are blessings in every journey.”

“We hope that our web film TUMPANG, has captured the spirit of Raya and your hearts,” he concluded.

Christine Liew, CCO, PLUS MALAYSIA BHD

According to Christine Liew, CCO of PLUS Malaysia, “I’m really proud of the TVC because it carries the new brand purpose of PLUS which was introduced internally in mid 2018.

“Our ambition to be a customer-centric organization is the change we need in PLUS to ensure we can deliver better customer experiences and that the journey is also as exciting as the destination,” she explained.

“Tumpang to me represents the values of PLUS staff and the collaboration in the organization to deliver to the audience the meaning of ‘Taking care of you every step of the way’,” she added.

“It also conveys the values of Malaysians that no matter where you come from, the festive seasons is where we all come together to celebrate diversity and appreciate each other’s company,” she stressed.

“The TVC for me was a labour of love from all the different teams in PLUS as well as the Reservoir Production who took it to another level,” she said.

“The highlight for me actually is in the small gesture when Pak Man and Amir were perfoming solat and the touch on the shoulder at that point was really meaningful as it carried the weight of the value of forgiveness and being grateful,” she added.

“Sometimes all of us get caught up with what’s not working well in our lives and we forget that there are many things working well in our lives too,” she concluded.

Syed Mohammed Idid, Head of Corporate, Community & Public Engagement, PLUS MALAYSIA BHD

In Syed’s words, The ‘TUMPANG’ TVC was designed to bring out real positive emotional values, appreciation of life, not to prejudge individuals, the value of new friendships, and ultimately, we are all passengers in life.

“We are all going through a journey, with a myriad of experiences. In this story, an angst ridden senior citizen, played by Pak Man undergoes a realization of sorts when he has to give a lift to this millenial, played by Amir, back to the kampung. The journey made him realize that things are not the way they seem,” he explained.

“He also realised that he took his own daughter for granted, and this made him realize that it was time for him to be grateful for all the little blessings in his life. When Pak Man realized that Amir was from an orphanage, and how he was so positive about things, Pak Man really understood the true value of what is important in life,” he added.

“Sometimes, when we see someone happy and being joyful, it does not mean they do not have challenges in their own lives. So that’s why, our theme, ‘Setiap perjalanan menzahirkan kesyukuran’, really hits home,” he concluded.

The Creative Inspiration from the team at Reservoir Production

The key driving force behind the formulation of the PLUS Hari Raya TVC are Founding Partners and Executive Producer, Chow Chun Son and Film Directors, Philip Rom Kulleh and Hadi Hamid.

“The core idea began with a simple premise: two strangers embarking on a journey and realizing later they had something in common,” said Philip.

Philip Rom Kulleh

“As we explored the premise, it led us to the idea of Silaturahim…the relationships we have developed with the ones placed around us is a direct reflection of our relationship we have with Allah SWT,” Chow further explains.

“Life is a journey full of blessings and no two journeys are the same…both characters, Pak Man and Amir are very different in every aspect, but there is a lesson to be learned,” Chow added.

Chow Chun Son, Founding Partner and Executive Producer

Hadi believes that in every journey be it physical, emotional or spiritual it is filled with reflections for us to learn about ourselves and to be grateful.

Some would say that in this day and age, society needs a reminder about simple values and how it can be even more important in this day and age.

Hadi Hamid

Philip could not agree more, adding, “In this digital age, we can be so desensitised sometimes by social media or the news we hear and read every day.”

Reservoir Production believes that web films done well can be a catalyst to remind people and bring alignment to simple values that are sometimes forgotten.

The team at Reservoir Production

In terms of whether there was a ‘golden nugget’ that provided inspiration to the team to conjure up an idea for the TVC, the team at Reservoir Production had this to say:

“We felt that PLUS and its highways was the golden nugget itself. A highway is a complex network of interconnected roads and a life’s journey is no different.”

“Life is complex but the lessons learnt along the way, most of the times are very simple.

The Distinctive Characters –Amir (played by Nabil Zakaria)

“I enjoyed doing the TVC because I was doing it with a very competent team, that I trust very much, based on my previous experience working with them,” Nabil said.

He said that even though it was quite a tiring shoot, everything went by pretty smoothly so he only had to focus on doing my own job well.

“In regard to the story, I am fortunate enough to grow up with both of my parents and siblings being there every step of the way,” he elaborated.

“I will say that I am very forgetful and careless so I can very much connect to missing the bus part!” he added.

The storyline reminds me of my eagerness to ‘balik kampung’ for Raya celebration back when I was young. Eid ‘balik kampung’ had always been a marvelous experience back then because I knew it would be fun.

Playing with relatives, taking a dip in the river, getting ‘duit raya’, having all the Eid Fitri food, sightseeing at the nearby town, sleeping with everyone at the living room, and many more, these memories are really fun to have and I always looked forward to them.

The night before Eid is always the best so I can understand why Amir cannot wait to be back at his orphanage as soon as possible.

Pak Man (played by Anuar Hamidaziz)

First and foremost, thank you for putting your trust in me. For any job, no matter how difficult or simple it is, it is always a challenge.

The touching part of this advertisement was when we the orphans were given donations and how PLUS took care of their well-being, even with their education and things.

It was really a great story and the partnership between the client and the production house was truly something to behold.

“I’m really grateful for PLUS and Reservoir Production for entrusting me with the role of Pak Man,” said Anuar proudly.

He continues, “The most touching part of this journey for me was finding out that the orphans of PLUS personnel who passed away carrying their duties are being well cared for by PLUS.”

“It truly opened my eyes to PLUS as a brand beyond just roads but brand with a heart.”

For more, please read Issue 3 of our reimagined Marketing Digest !

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