Vikneswaran Allagu, better known as Vikey, is a world-class, Merlin-award-winning magician… with a remarkable story. Like many performers during the pandemic, Vikey lost his audience overnight. But for Vikey, throwing in the towel was not an option, especially when he had an expecting wife and a daughter to provide for.
So, in a moment of pure inspiration, the magician turned to selling durians as a new career, and using the tricks that he had learnt from his time on the stage, he managed to weather through the crisis and become a beacon of resilience for the thousands of Malaysians who also lost their livelihoods to the pandemic.
In fact, his story is so incredible that it served as the plot for ‘Light in a Time of Darkness’ – FCB Malaysia’s 2020 Deepavali film for RHB Bank – which recorded over 14 million views and won awards and acclaim both locally and abroad.
Now, 18 months after ‘Light in a Time of Darkness’ had captivated the hearts of Malaysians, Vikey is back on his feet as a magician and is collaborating with RHB once again for #JomSapot in a new campaign by FCB Malaysia.
Created by RHB in 2020 as an initiative to help keep the doors of Malaysian businesses open during and after the pandemic, #JomSapot is a platform for SMEs to crowdsource support from RHB debit and credit cardholders.
Merchants could list their businesses on the #JomSapot website, and RHB Retail Customers in turn could make digital pledges to support them before turning the support into actual transactions with their RHB Credit/Debit Card or DuitNow QR.
To pay forward the support that he had received to the #JomSapot merchants, Vikey made surprise visits to four local businesses – Sagar Restaurant in Bangsar, Black Market restaurant and Caffeinees restaurant in Kampung Pandan, and PC Image in Low Yat Plaza – to perform his unique brand of mind-bending tricks to the unsuspecting crowd.
Magic and illusions aside, the 4-episode campaign also gave Vikey the stage to urge viewers to lend their support to local businesses via #JomSapot x BeliLokal initiative, which was conceived in partnership between RHB and The Star newspaper.
Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, Chief Marketing Officer of RHB Group, said, “Back in 2020, when Malaysia was still caught in the early stages of the pandemic and the nation was ravaged by its effects, our Deepavali film ‘Light in a Time of Darkness’, which told of Vikey’s amazing tale, became a timely reminder for Malaysians to stay resilient and not lose sight of hope.
Now, as we are in recovery mode and businesses are in the midst of rebuilding, we’re delighted to work with Vikey once again to hopefully deliver as much support as we can to the SMEs, which are the backbone of our country’s economy.
It’s essential for Vikey to be part of our narrative, because his story in itself is an encapsulation of resilience, which was what the country needed two years ago, and even more right now as we are picking ourselves back up again. We’re proud to have been journeying alongside Vikey, our SMEs and Malaysians throughout these difficult years, and the experience has made our brand belief of ‘Together We Progress’ even more meaningful than before.”
Meanwhile, Tjer, FCB Malaysia’s Head of Creative, added, “What we’ve essentially done was link two of RHB’s major Covid-19 crisis campaigns together – the first, using Vikey’s story as a beacon of inspiration for Malaysians during Deepavali; and the second, bringing Vikey back for RHB’s #JomSapot initiative to rally support for our SMEs. This move gave us the opportunity to not only continue building the RHB brand, but also help the bank build its business.
The tremendous growth that this campaign has given to RHB’s equity and business results will serve as an encouragement for us to continue helping the brand become an ally to Malaysians in the good times and the bad.”
#JomSapot feat. Vikey was launched on 17 March 2022 and is running across all RHB Bank’s social and digital channels. To date, the films have received over 2.3 million views and over 2,380 likes.
Title: #JomSapot featuring Vikey
Client: RHB Bank
Group Chief Marketing Officer: Abdul Sani
Head, Digital Marketing Engagement: Martin Voon
Manager, Digital Marketing Engagement: Aliya Anuar, Nur Amirah Fauzi, Nur Iman Jamaludin
Agency: FCB Malaysia
Co-owner & Chief Executive Officer: Shaun Tay
Co-owner & Chief Creative Officer: Ong Shi Ping
Head of Creative: Tjer Wang
Associate Creative Directors: James Voon, Jonathan Chan
Senior Copywriter: Megan Ong
Associate Account Director: Karima Kamal
Account Executive: Gabrielle Khoo
Senior Producer: Amin Taib
Production house: Graph Studio
Film Director: Jawagar
Offline Editor: Noelle
Online Artist: Pan
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