HAMBUSHED: Will the new mascot for BSN be Kuching Happy?

Puspa Marina thumbnail

 Puspa Marina

(marketingmagazine.com.my) – By Malati Siniah

Puspa Marina Omar has been in the field of Marketing, PR and Corporate Communications for over 25 years. Her experience covers a wide range of industries from banking, culture & tourism, oil & gas, education and more.

As the Senior VP & Head of Strategic Comms of Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), Puspa is responsible for the bank’s brand management and corporate communications for its 400 over banking outlets and 5,000 registered banking agents in the country.

While she has worked on various corporate branding and marketing communications initiatives for the banking group, most recently her focus was on BSN’s recent rebranding. Overseeing the bank’s award-winning Kuching Happy campaign, Puspa saw through the banking group’s successful initiative to re-introduce themselves to a younger audience on social media.

The Kuching Happy campaign won several accolades including the Gold award at Malaysia’s Inaugural APPIES, under the consumer services category.  The famous cat even crossed paths with former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at last year’s Malaysia Social Media Week.

So did Puspa think this campaign would be as successful as it is today….. find out in our HAMBUSH below.

Under your leadership, BSN has changed its image from a traditional brand to one that’s more attractive to today’s digitally savvy consumers. What were some of the challenges you faced when embarking on this rebrand?

It is great that over the 40 years of its existence, BSN has built relationships with Malaysians from all walks of life across the country. However, it was losing relevance with market segments becoming more progressive and with our customers’ evolving lifestyles. It was largely seen as a conservative, ‘old-fashioned’ bank.  So the main challenge was to change this perception and it became necessary that we reignite lost relationships and build new connections with the youths and young adults.

It was tough as we thought about how best can we do this? How can we connect, engage and talk to them? How do we make them like us (again)?  That was how we strategise and plan our digital strategy.

You have spent over 25 years of your career in the communications line, how did you first enter this industry?

By accident. Seriously.

I was a business and logistics graduate and started my career at the port. My boss then had spotted my flair in organizing events and told me I need a career change which I took heed.

The rest, as they say, is history.  

What do you look out for when choosing an agency?

Agencies that share our dreams, willing to explore possibilities and the ones that take us ‘big’.  Agencies are our extended team and as a team, we work together as one. We share our vision and direction while the agency translates that into creatives.

What were your initial thoughts when you first heard of the Kuching Happy idea? Did you think that it would be hit that it is today?

Hmmm… talking cat? I’m a cat person myself so talking to cats is nothing foreign to me. But a talking cat for a bank….

With no digital presence at that time, I figured we got nothing to lose. It was fun, it was something different and it was a bold move that others have not done – which was all the direction that we gave the agency.

The aim was to create some kind of engagement, but it became a nation-wide sensation. Really, we never thought it would turn out the way it did.

Kuching Happy new campaign

Any plans of making Kuching Happy BSN’s official mascot?

Meowwwww (now go figure that one out *cat purrrrrr)

Next Tuesday (6th September) Puspa will be presenting BSN’s Kuching Happy campaign case study at The Malaysian CMO Conference.To hear more on the award-winning campaign and speak to leading industry experts book your spot at the conference by contacting Ruby on 03-77262588.

HANDO speaker

The 5th Malaysian Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) Conference is a full day journey into the minds of some of the sharpest and most inspiring minds in the business.

The market is in a state of flux. Media fragmentation has gone wild. Digital is exciting but also a minefield if handled wrong. Marketers need stamina, focus and a scalable approach to strategies. ROI has never been more confusing.

Hear from these dynamic and feisty brand leaders on how they are facing the New Realities:


• Loh Keh Jiat – CMO, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd
• Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz – MD & CEO, Hong Leong Islamic Bank Berhad
• Sulin Lau – Head of Marketing Services, Maxis
• Cyril Dhenaut – Head of Marketing, KFit
• Timothy Johnson – Senior VP of Marketing, INTI International University & Colleges
• Eric Wong – Marketing Director, IBM Malaysia
• Srikanth Ramachandran – Executive Director, Moving Walls
• Spencer Lee – Head of Commercial, AirAsia Berhad
• Bala Pomaleh – CEO, IPG Mediabrands
• Rachel Lim – Co-Founder of Love, Bonito
• Edward Ling – Sales Manager, Waze Malaysia
• Santharuban T. Sundaram – Group Marketing Manager, Etika Holdings (formely Permanis) 
• Dato Seri Vida – Founder, Pamoga & Qu Puteh
•Rafiq Razalli – CEO, Media Prima Digital Sdn Bhd 

Date: September 6th, 2016 (Tuesday)

Venue: Sime Darby Convention Centre, Jalan Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.

For details, contact Ruby on 03-77262588, [email protected]

Download event PDF here

More details www.marketingmagazine.com.my/cmo2016 

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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