THE FIRST CHOIR

Short List
TitleTHE FIRST CHOIR
BrandAXIATA BERHAD & CELCOM AXIATA BERHAD
Product / ServiceFESTIVE - MERDEKA (MALAYSIA INDEPENDENCE DAY)
CategoryA02. Fiction & Non-Fiction Film: 5-30 minutes
EntrantCELCOM Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Idea Creation M&C SAATCHI MALAYSIA Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Media Placement MEDIACOM Petaling Jaya, MALAYSIA
Production DIRECTORS THINK TANK Petaling Jaya, MALAYSIA

Credits

Name Company Position
Darren Lee M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Executive Creative Director
Marzuki Maani M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Executive Creative Director
David Sandhu M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Associate Creative Director
Pooi Yeng Low M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Associate Creative Director
Adzam Bahrin M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Senior Art Director
Leonard Leow M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Senior Writer
Foong Ai Chan M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Senior Designer
Yusman Rosdi M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Bahasa Writer
Nailul Aini M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Senior Account Director
Wei Nee Lee M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Associate Account Director
Christopher John Clayton Watermelon Production Sdn Bhd Creative Videographer cum Editor
Ryan Alexander Blaydes M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Senior Account Executive
Poh Li Lee M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Digital General Manager
Marcia Tan M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Account Manager
Mundzir Abdul Latif M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Creative Director
Nina Faressa Zulkiflee M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Social Account Manager
Evelynn Tan M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Executive Producer
Anna J Ragen M&C Saatchi (M) Sdn Bhd Head of Social Media

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

Moving the nation and her heart via tech capabilities Following a proposed merger announcement that provoked negative sentiments amongst the Malaysian public, Axiata needed to contain these conversations, and correct the perception before they spread further. Getaran Pertama is a campaign to strengthen its brand promise that it is here for good and here to inspire and lead Malaysia forward technologically. Central to the campaign is the story of the First National Choir, made possible by mixed reality technologies, bridging past and present shared patriotism. The effort is presented online and offline to allow Malaysians to experience Axiata’s techno leadership.

Background

In May 2019, Malaysian home-grown corporation Axiata Group Berhad and Telenor ASA announced their intention to establish a new merged global entity by combining Axiata and Telenor’s Asian operations. While the merger was good for business, it wasn’t for the brand. Axiata was thought to have a lesser stake and say as compared to Telenor in the new entity. The Malaysian public quickly jumped to the conclusion that the merged entity might have undersold Malaysian interests, plus concerns about job losses due to this deal. Although the merger was eventually aborted, Axiata’s reputation has taken a hit based on negative comments on social platforms. Our task was to engage with the public to quickly reclaim the narrative before further damage was done to the brand. ‘Success’ of the campaign is measured by level of engagement, positive sentiments and earned publicity.

Describe the creative idea

Move Malaysia – move the nation forward with Axiata’s tech leadership, and MOVE the hearts of Malaysians. Inspired by events in 1957, the campaign celebrates the potential of Malaysians beyond demographic traits by using digital technology to create a beautiful and uniquely Malaysian story of what is possible when we come together as one people, celebrating our diversity. In line with Axiata’s vision to be a New Generation Digital Company, the use of creative technology to re-enact scenes from the past gave Axiata the opportunity to demonstrate its technological capabilities, plus evoking patriotism and awareness about the founding ideals of the nation. The film, through use of deep learning modules and mixed reality, relives the adventures of Radio Malaya music supervisor Ahmad Merican, and music teacher (late) Tony Fonseka (1906-1965) as they rise up to the challenge of setting up a truly Malayan choir to herald the nation’s independence.

Describe the strategy

By using positive occasion to build positive association, we wanted to leverage on the general positivity in the country and our identity as Malaysians during Merdeka (National Day) to reclaim the narrative of the merger to garner public confidence that Axiata, a trusted Malaysian tech leader will bring the nation forward. We wanted to achieve this through: 1) Showcasing role of the brand by using technology as an enabler of nation-building 2) Reclaiming the narrative that Axiata, a trusted Malaysian tech leader brings the nation forward 3) Exhibiting thought leadership to reclaim the narrative as a Malaysian leader in tech and innovation in the market. 4) Collaboration with Celcom to show combined technological strength Merdeka is the prime event of the year where the essence of Malaysiana is most celebrated and synonymous with the themes of unity and harmony.

Describe the execution

The crown jewel is the encore performance of national anthem “Negaraku”, conducted by the late Tony Fonseka, made possible with deep learning modules in mixed-reality technologies to recreate a holographic representation of Tony. ‘Tony’ conducted a new generation of choir performing the Negaraku to the public at Pavilion KL and at the media launch. The campaign was launched with ATL (Print, TVC, OOH), PR and strong social media presence. To maintain buzz post-launch, vox pops, CEO interviews and 3 behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos were released on social media and national TV. BTS videos told the backstory of the formation of the First National Choir, the technology behind the hologram, and the build-up of the campaign. Application of technology was critical in showcasing the technical know-how of Axiata & Celcom in creating innovative experiences that captured shared patriotism between past and present generations, thus advancing the spirit of independence through technology.

Describe the outcome

Main film garnered : 1. nearly 10 million total views (FB, YT) within a week, surpassing internal and industry benchmarks 2. 26% view rate of a 7-minute film testifies of a captivating story benchmarked against FB view rate of 20-30% for an average of 2-minute video. 3. 62 views/Ringgit vs industry benchmark of 33 views/Ringgit BTS videos recorded TWICE the FB average, each garnering 200k additional views and more than 600,000 engagements. Positive sentiments increased to 25% from pre-campaign average of 15%. Earned media achieved multiplier effect of 5:1 with RM5mil earned publicity in free air-time and write-ups. Winner of the A + M’s Top 10 Merdeka Videos through public voting.

Links
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