Besides actual Raya celebrations, it’s a Malaysian tradition to look forward to seeing what companies will be posting as their Raya-themed commercials. Previously, brands like Petronas and TNB usually stick the landing when it comes to creative and cinematic advertisements, but it’s a whole different ballgame this year due to the pandemic.
Brands this year had to make do with the situation, like not being able to have a full-scale production team to finding a cool concept at the last minute that has to relate to the current pandemic and social distancing. However, some of this year’s commercials still had that spark of Raya magic we all look for. Here are some of my personal favourites:
Antara Dua Jendela – Petronas
Petronas Raya commercials never fail to make me all watery-eyed. This year’s commercial relied heavily on mixed media animation, and unlike the travesty of the last minute Blacklist finale animation, it was so delightfully drawn.
Without spoiling it, the story is about two neighbours in the same village. You’ll then see them during Raya through the years until this year’s reality.
Raya Tapi Jauh – Tesco
Tesco came out with 4 different commercials in the same series and storyline, but I’ve chosen what I thought was the best one. All four commercials feature a man communicating with his mom over his device, as she gives him cooking and fashion advice from afar to help him prepare for Raya.
Not all Raya commercials are geared to make you cry. I thought this was simple, well edited and funny.
Ramadhan/Syawal 2020 – TM
Given that this ad only featured words, music and pictures, TM’s Ramadhan and Raya ad was pretty effective. It reminded me that there are still front-liners currently putting their lives on the line for us.
#SemangatRayaEpikFantastik – TNB
TNB had previously been killing it with funny and innovative ads for Raya, and this year isn’t any different. They took experiences that we’ve had during MCO and weaved it into their video, including cutting our own hair and cooking for ourselves more often in a montage-style music video.
#RayaStyleLain – Vivo
Vivo’s ad is fun and lighthearted. It features ‘Nenek’ trying to advise her ‘anak’ and ‘cucus’ on cooking, baking and decorating. The ad also included some jokes (“Kesana. Kesini.”) and some sweet moments, although her ‘cucu’ burning her cookies when she tried to bake hit a little close to home.
Suasana Syawal Sempurna (Audio 8D) – Maxis
Maxis thought of a really creative way to take advantage of the lack of resources needed for a regular commercial shoot. Instead of a video, they came out with an 8D audio experience that you’d need to listen to with your earphones.
Maxis also recently posted a Raya commercial in video form, but I personally liked the audio better.
#AdabiRayaTetapRaya – Adabi
It has about the same theme as Vivo’s ad, but Adabi’s ad had a charm of its own. The over-the-top acting kind of fit the comedic storyboard style of the whole video and they even inserted references to TikTok and things like video chatting with your boyfriend.
Kuah Kacang Ibu – Saji
In this commercial, a mother recites a recipe for ‘kuah kacang’ and then brings up how essential it is to use a brand of cooking oil. I’ll give you three chances to guess what the brand is.
The actress was engaging during her whole monologue, and even though the mood went from light-hearted to sad a bit too abruptly, it’s still a pretty good commercial.
Raya Kaler Yeogurt – Yeo’s
This ad was also a part of a series, like Tesco’s ads. However, they shot this before MCO started which explains how they could all shoot in the same house. It stars Nadia Nisaa as the mom, and even though I’m a little perplexed as to what they mean by having a “Yoghurt coloured Raya”, the commercials are fun and super silly (it even included a toilet joke…).
Jauh Di Mata Tetap Beraya – Watsons
Watsons’ ad features a big group of celebrities. I don’t really know if they’re playing a family, or if they’re just kind of talking to each other—famous person to famous person, but it was fun to see Jalaluddin Hassan, Ayda Jebat and also YouTube singing sensation Alyssa Dezek in the same video.
Menyulam Budi – Digi
This commercial features real life tailor with special needs who has gone viral on the internet for making hospital gowns for doctors and nurses in the frontlines—and she sews them with just her feet. The video isn’t too frilly, and conveys the right message of “weaving blessings together towards victory”.
Were there other commercials that you thought also needed to be mentioned? Let me know in the comments.