Hong Leong reminds Malaysians of the possibilities when rising from the rubbles

Inspired by the glimmers of hope for better days that people feel during difficult times, Hong Leong Bank (HLB), in partnership with Naga DDB Tribal, released a film titled ‘Nian: The Untold Story,’ for its CNY campaign ‘Renew Together, Prosper Together.’ The overall campaign aims to continue supporting Malaysians renew, refresh and rebuild stronger in 2021 and beyond.  

The film is told through a heartwarming (virtual) conversation between Ah Boy and his Poh Poh, as his story brings to life a creative re-telling of the age-old legend of the ‘Nian’ monster, a mythical beast that preys on crops and destroys villages during the winter time. 

“Taking a page out of their (Ah Boy and Poh Poh) book, we can see that it pays to come together and plan ahead, to defeat the common enemy, before rebuilding and renewing lives in times of unprecedented adversity,” said Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of HLB, Zalman Zainal.After all, when we unite and ‘Renew Together, we Prosper Together’ and we are the ones who will reap the benefits of a prosperous life in a prosperous Malaysia”. 

Though the story itself may be a myth, the lesson holds true and gives the next generation an opportunity to better learn from past mistakes and successes, added Zalman.  

“We have come a long way, but we still have some ways to go before the pandemic subsides, therefore making plans today is the best step we can take towards securing our future,” he said. “As the popular Chinese proverb goes ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now’.”

According to the Art Director from Naga DDB Tribal, Jiin Jiek Wong,  executing  the Nian story to life with the current government imposed limitations was no easy task as they envisioned, crafted, and produced the hand-drawn animations interspersed with live footage, all remotely. However,  he said the team was genuinely inspired by the story they were telling. 

“By working together as a team, we ended up with a story that proudly showcases one of the most enduring Chinese New Year stories, with a retelling that highlights the value of perseverance and working together to begin again,” Jiin said. 

Watch the film here:



Chief Marketing and Communications Officer :Zalman Zainal

Head of Brand Marketing : Jason Ng

General Manager, Corporate Communications : Vivian Tan


Chief Operating Officer : Clarence Koh

Executive Creative Director : Nik Radzi

Associate Creative Director : Benedict Tan

Creative Group Head : Derek Yeo

Art Director : Jiin Jiek Wong

Copywriter : Michelle Goh

Junior Copywriter : Aish Mann

Designer : Sze Shen Wee

Director – Brand Management : Don Michael Acelar De Leon

Senior Account Executive : Samuel Fletcher

Head of AV : Sharon De Silva

Producer : Rosa Check

Senior Planning Director : Dennis Kam

Strategic Planner : May Li Chai

Project Manager : Lilian Lee


Executive Producer : Intan Sham

Film Director : Chevie Law 

Production Asst : Kina

DOP : Nicholas Chin

Director Dept : Trikings 

Editor : Sean Yap

Post & Animation : DTT post 

Illustration : Two People Studio

Audio : TwoAm Music Studios

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