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DiGi Moves to Neutralise Angst, Accusations and Finger Pointing

The Challenge

Hari Raya was just around the corner, with Merdeka and Malaysia day following very closely.

The challenge and opportunity was in delivering a festive greeting to Malaysians that would encompass the Hari Raya spirit with the celebration of Merdeka and Malaysia Day in a seamless, natural way.

There were other factors, including the rising tension in the nation following the events of July 2011.

The headlines were full of angst, accusations and finger pointing. We felt that Malaysians were in need of a big hug, with some long-overdue reconciliation and a sense of hope for the future thrown in.

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The Idea

One of the main sentiments expressed during Raya is that of forgiveness from loved ones, or “Maaf Zahir Batin”. We combined this common Raya expression with the spirit of Merdeka, and open it up to all Malaysians. since the two occasions would happen back to back.

We wanted Malaysians open up and seek forgiveness for the times they offended others. We hoped to help them reach out to family, friends, and any other Malaysian they wanted to address. And we would give them a platform to express their apologies to other “Dear Malaysians”.

The Execution

To set the stage for the “Dear Malaysians” concept, we shot a video depicting the emotional journey of people making apologies for their wrongdoings. The video was set against a moving piece of music with forgiveness as a central theme.

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A Facebook app was created to allow Malaysians to send their apologies online. These submissions were displayed openly for all to see on the website. Users could also send Hari Raya greetings that helped them seek forgiveness from the recipients. We also invited Malaysians to send in photos or videos of their apologies.

A press ad was developed, featuring a ‘fold in’ concept that allowed readers to interact with the page, and turn anger into forgiveness.

The Results

Naga DDBlitz December 2011 - Bringing the nation together, one apology at a time 4Within 3 days of its debut on YouTube, the “Dear Malaysians” video was shared on Facebook over 40,000 times, and clocked over 40,000 views, with over 1,000 ‘Likes’. To date, it has been viewed over 90,000 times. Over 1,600 people have submitted their own personal apologies. The campaign garnered an estimated RM1.3 million in PR coverage.

The video was also featured on MSN’s 10 Best Viral Videos of the Week, and in The Star. Countless blogs also featured the video and many created their own apology videos and pictures. One fan even created his own version of our apology website called www.dearppl.com.

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We followed up with another video to thank everyone who participated showcase some of the more interesting and unusual submissions.

The campaign struck a chord with most Malaysians, and many admitted that they had much to apologise for. Perhaps the most touching feedback was from those who were moved to reconcile with loved ones after years of having drifted apart due to differences.

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With a simple message and a universal theme which anyone can relate to, “Dear Malaysians” showed that a brand with a lot of heart can go a long way in touching consumers emotionally.

Source: David Mitchell, Naga DDB Insights, david.mitchell@nagaddb.com.my