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“Oh My English!”

The Challenge

On a national level, there has always been an emphasis on the value of learning English – and Malaysians have come to recognise the language’s importance. However, amongst sub-urban and rural communities in Malaysia, recognition of the importance of English did not translate to its’ usage. These communities felt that there was no immediate need to use the language, especially within the parameters of their everyday lives.

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The Idea

Our  thought  was to convey  the Conversational and social benefits of speaking the language. We needed to communicate that learning English was beneficial to the target group – and so, there needed to be a demonstration of how speaking good English, could open doors to more opportunities and experiences. But, to have a little bit of fun, we put a little twist to the idea – whereby we would highlight how poor English could exclude our target audience from new experiences.

The Execution

We dramatised the effect of being misunderstood, or worse being left out/behind due to poor English – all this in a series of TVC’s and online videos. We featured the show’s characters in very relevant and humorous situations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gxOEoCUB0w

These video’s then led audiences to our website where they were prompted to pledge to speak better English. On our Facebook page, we even had video’s of local Malaysian celebrities encouraging audiences to learn and improve their spoken English.

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The Results…So Far…

To date, our YouTube channel has more than 3.3 million views, 87,428 fans of our FB page and more than 3000 people pledged to speak better English. More than that, the term “Oh My English!” has made its way into everyday speech – be it parents or teachers using the term to correct kids, or between school-goers and their peers. The term has been imitated and extended into other subject matters, e.g “Oh My Maths!”.

The first episode debuted on May 20th and airs every Sunday on Astro TVIQ channel 610.

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