VMLY&R Malaysia and TM unite tradition and technology in heart-warming Hari Raya film

Global brand and customer experience agency, VMLY&R together with client Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), have produced a heart-warming film and innovative Kufi (early Arabic calligraphy) generator that unites traditions of the past with technology of the future.

Entitled ‘Dari Hati’ (From the Heart), the film is part of the TM’s wider Festive Campaign for 2022 – which encompasses all the main festive celebrations in Malaysia, including National Day.

VMLY&R’s proprietary ‘Muslim Intel Lab’ shared a valuable insight that help shaped the idea, that Malaysians have one intangible heritage that is passed on from one generation to the next: Words of wisdom. This is an important pillar of the Malay community as these words of wisdom form and guide everything that they do in life. Based on this insight, the agency found a way to turn this intangible heritage into a tangible end product with the Kufi generator.

Together with TM, VMLY&R co-created a proprietary platform, Artificial Intelligence Visual to Extralinguistic Experience (A.I.VEE) that allows users to key their words of wisdom into the website that then converts their submission from text into beautiful Kufi. They can then customise, download their personalised Kufi design and share them with their friends and family.

Since its launch for Hari Raya, the film has garnered over 2 million views, and over 700 pieces of original Kufi art have been created. VMLY&R’s scope of work included the creative development and execution, developing the first of its kind Kufi generator using Artificial Intelligence Visual to Extralinguistic Experience (A.I.VEE) technology and building the microsite. Plus, campaign materials across TV, print, digital and social media.

The short film starts with a young man, Iqbal, scrolling gloomily through social media. “Have you ever done anything for people’s praise? Or do you do you do things sincerely, without hoping for anything in return?” he asks via voiceover. His mum rings, asking for help clearing out the workshop of his deceased father, who was an artist.

By revisiting the workshop and being inspired by his father’s art to create tech Kufi versions of his own, Iqbal reconnects with his family, his heritage and above all his father’s values of doing everything with wholeheartedness and sincerity.

“At VMLY&R it’s our mission to build connected brands. Our proprietary ‘Muslim Intel Lab’ provided a valuable insight that inspired us to find a solution that could convert the intangible, heritage passed down through the generations, into the tangible. Our goal was to honour and celebrate Aidilfitri in a unique and interesting way and get our audience to not only enjoy the touching and meaningful Raya film, but also share their own words of wisdom thanks to the world’s first Kufi generator,” said Kenni Loh, Chief Executive Officer, VMLY&R Malaysia.

KC Aui, Executive Creative Director, VMLY&R Malaysia said, “Many brands just produce a TVC for Raya, but we wanted to build on that in an innovative way. We wanted to celebrate the culture of sharing words of wisdom from our elders by converting them into another form of Malay heritage: turning Jawi (traditional way of writing Malay script based on Arabic letters) into beautiful Kufi art.

We took on the challenge from our client to create a holistic campaign that not only entertained viewers but allowed them to play a part in celebrating our words of wisdom that creates Kufi art based on the user’s submission.

Together with TM, we’re also looking at ways to apply the Kufi art generator as an educational platform beyond the festive season.”

Commenting, Shanti Jusnita Johari,  Chief Marketing Officer Telekom Malaysia Berhad, said: “We want to highlight and celebrate Malaysia’s many cultures and heritage during a festive season when people are more attuned to the idea of how culture connects our humanity and brings families closer together . We also want to demonstrate TM’s role as the enabler of technology, by empowering Malaysians to use technology to create art pieces.”

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