The tale of the 6-inch durian farm that went viral

4 years ago
Maxis SME

(Marketingmagazine.com.my) – By: Malati Siniah

Do you know that the website www.durian.com.my is actually registered as the official website for a durian farm in Penang?

The foresight to buy the popular domain name came in 1995, where Chang Teik Seng or more fondly
known as ‘Durian Seng’ decided to set up a website for his father’s durian farm.

Maxis SME ad2

The story of how Durian Seng brought his durian farming business to the digital age, is documented in an online video as part of Maxis latest ‘New Ways of Working SME Heroes’ campaign.

Launched on the 29 th of May, the ad titled “6-inch durian farm becomes an empire” has gotten plenty of buzz online with over 200 000 views and 2000 shares on Facebook. Sharing by popular Facebook groups such as ‘Best of Penang’ and ‘Fabulous Commercials’ brought more traction to the video.

Watching the jovial Durian Seng and his quirky family narrate the tale of his 6-inch durian farm, though I could only understand the ad through the subtitles provided, it did not fail to bring a smile to my face. I only realised the ad was based on a real durian farm in Penang when I saw people tagging the ‘Bao Sheng Durian Farm’s’ Facebook page in their comment’s.

So how did Maxis find the jovial Durian Seng to be featured in their latest ad? I spoke to Chan Woei Hern, Executive Creative Director at ensemble IPG Mediabrands, to find out more on the face behind the ad.

Maxis SME video Ad

– How did you find Durian Seng?

Maxis SME is constantly on the lookout for interesting SMEs that have adopted technology, using new ways to grow their business. This is line with Maxis’ ambition to introduce new ways of working to SMEs. We wanted to show the benefits of that not many people know about.

We did a lot of research, we didn’t want just an ordinary SME business story but one that SMEs
could relate to and be inspired by. One that truly shows new ways of working and that technology can be that simple, yet engaging to their customers. So, we shortlisted a number of Malaysian SMEs, Durian Seng was the perfect candidate for our launch story as we found him really fascinating and entertaining. And we thought durian + technology is something unheard of. He was not just building a business, but a brand.

We spent a day at his orchard with him, to really get to know him and wrote the story around him. To Durian Seng’s credit, his entire family were naturals in front of the camera, which made telling the story that much better.

– He seemed to fit the role very well, was he naturally funny or did he require coaching to fit the part?

If you meet Durian Seng in person, he’s a natural. Very jovial and friendly. The crew spent an evening with him prior to shooting running the script with him and the family, and that’s all he needed.

We feel that a huge part of the charm was how natural Durian Seng and his family was. Because that’s how he is.

– What has the response been for the video so far?

So far it’s racked up over 200 000 views and over 2000 shares on Facebook, with over 2000. That’s an amazing view-to- share ratio. You’re normally lucky to even get that many likes-per- view let alone shares.
We also got a massive earned media boost when the Best of Penang Facebook group shared it. Over 400k views and 10k shares so far.

It’s also refreshing to read more comments from viewers that are related to the video subject rather than the usual complaints and trolling brands usually get in comments sections.

– Any future plans on expanding the campaign

We’ll be looking for more SME stories to share with Malaysia. But we won’t stop there. We’re looking for New Ways of Collaborating with SMEs too. Stay tuned.

Client: Maxis. Sulin Lau, Bernard Lee, Jennifer Khor, Pamela Chia
Agency: Ensemble Worldwide. Sean Wong / Beverly Ong / Lim Jia Yang / Chan Woei Hern / Mun Tuck Wai / Norman Tang / Ng Bee Nee / Chin Sin May / Subashnaveen Balakrishnan /Loreen Eva
Production House: SixtyMac

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