Ladies and Gentlemen, your host for today’s awards, Ellia Pikri.
Welcome, ladies and gents, boys and girls to our roundup of this year’s outstanding Year of The Rooster advertisements. And what a year this is!
Since our award is a Golden Globes ripoff, the advertisements that we will be honouring are video advertisements that have been released at this point in time at the time of writing. Petronas’ contribution to this year’s Chinese New Year landscape is notably missing from consideration as of now, for example.
We are still looking forward to any contribution that they may have to the landscape, but as they say; the show must go on!
Without further ado, let’s meet the winners.
Outstanding Comedy Award
Humour is subjective, but we can always appreciate when an advertisement takes an idea and gives it a different spin.
And an idea that has been rife for loving parody has always been the infamous question, “When are you getting married?” Many have tried to tackle this idea, but this advertisement has added a dash of class to the usual comedy fare with their jazzy musical take on the genre.
Nandos—Meet The Relatives This CNY
The comedic timing is great, and the obvious “freeze frame” on the extras is something funny to behold. On top of that, it is great that the vocals on their advertisements are pleasant on the ears. They have even released the follow-up to their retro advertisements here:
Outstanding Tearjerker Award
Just adding sad piano music behind an advertisement doesn’t make a tearjerker advertisement. It takes a more subtle hand than that to carefully tease someone’s heart.
This is why the the mark of a good tearjerker is when a video can render even the most stone-cold hearted among us to shed some tears. And this year’s award goes to:
Maxis— The 50-Year Promise
This winner also holds an honour where even the story behind the advertisement can bring tears to one’s eyes. Read more about it here.
Outstanding Drama Award
A good drama should tell a story that is so relatable that even if we haven’t gone through the situation ourselves, the emotions still resonate with us.
And with this year’s award, the winner has taken on a small theme of misunderstanding and developed it into a gorgeous almost 4-minute advertisement chronicling a simple desire of wanting to be loved and of appreciation.
It was a story about words too important to be spoken and of family.
Great Eastern—Chapter 4 – Will I Be a Burden to You?
It was simply, and expertly told and unexpectedly moving.
Best Production Value
Production value means more than just great special effects. It means that the set design feels realistic, the characters are dressed like they belong, and everything from music, props and camera-work needs to be on-point.
Of course, having great special effects doesn’t hurt as well.
This year’s winner took no shortcuts when it came to the advertisement. They took on the setting of a feudal-era China, knowing exactly how much preparation needs to go into wardrobe and sets.
And on top of that, they put in time and effort into Kung Fu choreography training, and then added on some brilliant special effects afterwards.
Child actors are notoriously difficult to work with, simply because of their age. This is why most directors either only give them small parts, or if they have a larger role, take on the more one-dimensional characterisation of “precocious and adorable child”.
However, some directors are able to bring out the best in child actors and flesh them out into becoming well-rounded, complex characters—all within an advertisement’s time limit. Of course, this is all only possible if the child themselves have the acting chops to show for it.
And for this, we award Maxis again for another CNY ad. They’re on fire this year, aren’t they?
Maxis—Money That Grandma Owes Me
This choice can prove to be divisive, but the best types of music in an advertisement are the ones that stick to your head. Who can forget the iconic 1300-88-2525 number from one famous Pizza Hut commercial?
So this advertisement took on the iconic sounds from every Chinese New Year traditional song, but used it to create their own version.
Therefore, we can foresee that Watsons will be using this song for years to come. Some of us are terrified of the prospect, but as the popularity of the song proves, there will be many more who enjoy it.
Most Effective Product Placement
In the end, an advertisement’s main purpose is always to sell something. And growing up in this age of media, it can be a difficult challenge for advertisers to find ways to inject their products into an advertisement without seeming forced, especially when it’s in conjunction with a holiday.
This is why we award advertisements who are able to implement their business with an advertisement’s story well.
11Street—Have an Ongsome Chinese New Year!
The Most-Painful-To-Watch Award
Honestly, this advertisement speaks for itself. From the shoddy acting, terrible product integration and what is obviously just an iPhone straddled to a dashboard as what they would call “camera work”, this advertisement deserves all of the flak it is getting.
Mercedes—A reunion of prosperity and ambition
Read more about how this ‘terrible’ marketing might just be on purpose here.
Best Integration Of The Rooster
As we are celebrating this new years to usher in the year of the rooster, many advertisements have tried to integrate the rooster into the story, with varying degrees of success.
Most choose to showcase the rooster as either food or a decorative in the overall theme, but this advertisement takes it on as a serious subject matter, and makes it work.
Paramount Property—Heavenly Crown CNY 2017
Special mention: Tefal’s My Chicky, My family
Unfortunately, while the integration of the chicken as a household pet and the little girl’s sadness that her family has been taken away from her is an interesting take on the concept of the rooster, it’s not entirely smooth viewing. The jarring product placement in the middle takes us out of the moment just enough to interrupt the flow of the narrative.
Special Honour Award
For her outstanding service in proving to us in Malaysia that advertisements can be more than just boring things to zone out of on TV and for kickstarting this culture where all of us actually look forward to a beautifully made Chinese New Year advertisement in the first place, we have to give due honour to Yasmin Ahmad.
Without her expert hand in crafting wonderfully shot, powerful pieces that are nothing less than amazing pieces of art, we would like to present this award to Petronas and Yasmin Ahmad, for the advertisement that started it all:
Yasmin Ahmad—Rich Son, Poor Son
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Yasmin Ahmad, and the family and friends that she touched along her journey on this mortal coil. May she rest in peace.
And, ladies and gents, that concludes our (un)official honouring of this year’s advertisements. A special thanks to our readers for staying with us for the ride, and finally, thanks to all of the companies featured and not featured, for giving us some fine advertisements for us to watch. Good day, Malaysia, and a Happy Chinese New Year!
Feature Image Credit Modified From Luminous FX.