Little Popo makes sure no one forgets what’s important

“Don’t sweep the house, you’ll sweep away all the good luck.”

“Don’t shake your leg, you’ll lose your wealth.” 

“You shouldn’t wear black, it stands for death.”

If you grew up in Malaysia, you don’t have to be Chinese to know that these are common Chinese New Year (CNY) taboos, commonly repeated by older family members. 

Rapid urbanization means oral traditions, the bedrock of Chinese culture, is disappearing, and with it, most traditions and superstitions. Family and cultural traditions are under threat  as its retention rate naturally declines with generations. 

For this year’s CNY, Etiqa tackled this exact issue through a heart-warming and endearing TVC titled ‘Little Popo’. Etiqa believes in the importance of imparting the best advice and wanted to link that to their 2020 CNY film. The agency behind the execution and delivery is Ensemble Worldwide, the creative unit within the IPG Mediabrands network. 

‘Little Popo’ centres around a little girl and her family as they congregate for the CNY celebration. Through their interactions, she imparts wisdom and reminds family members of certain CNY taboos they are seen guilty of doing. 

Since these are things usually uttered only by older people, this little girl’s remarks seem to puzzle her family members. The film closes with the little girl, a photograph of her late grandmother and the memory of her grandmother telling her to remember everything she’s been taught, as the last frame shows the tagline “The best advice comes from the heart.”.

“We wanted to demonstrate traditional Chinese family values, also known as ‘nagging’ through the lens of our Little Popo,”  

“We know these old lessons that are sometimes known as ‘nagging’ are being forgotten in modern times, however they represent culture, values and in some cases truths that we can all learn from,” commented Chan Woei Hern, Executive Creative Director of Ensemble Worldwide. “We wanted to show how words, no matter how annoying and tedious they may seem, can come to mean one thing this new year – “I love you”.” 

According to Woei Hern, it was love at first sight the moment their clients (Etiqa) and production partners, Mastermind Group heard of Little Popo idea. Everyone behind the execution of the TVC put in a lot of care and love into bringing Little Popo to life. Woei Hern added that they had fun writing the script as the team had a long list of sayings that they had to comb through before ultimately selecting the ones in the film, as they are the most commonly heard, relevant or humorous. 

“The wisdom and knowledge shared over generations is important, and the subliminal message is that you are taken care of by your loved ones, even when you are not aware of it,” said Siti Hajar Rizlan, Head of Brand Marketing at Etiqa.

The film was directed by Mohd Halid Bin Mohd Yunos. and produced with Mastermind Group and Grand Theft Records as the audio house partner.

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