I hardly ever watch traditional TV here in Malaysia, but during national festivals I tend to trawl trough YouTube for adverts. That may sound odd, but it seems like these festive ads are a tradition and there seems to be a bit of competition on who comes up with the most heart-felt short story. I think they are a great way of learning about the culture and habits and getting into people’s head in away: they often build on an experience of a shared history.
They tend to be a bit cheesy and all have a few common traits. I almost wish I was looking for a topic for a thesis, so juicy are the nation building images and longing for traditional values in these short films. Other that the 1Malaysia rhetoric, they are built around families getting together, arguments settled and long-lost friends coming together. Traditions are merged with modern technology and material stuff is secondary to happiness. Oh, what a wonderful world!
Here are a few of this years’ ads that caught my attention, get your tissues ready:
On friendship by Mudah:
On coming home from far by Petronas:
And a short film by MAS on the pressure of the modern world and family values:
And last, this one by Virtigo Studios on the importance of family -so cheesy it could be spread on a toast!