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5 Powerful Commercials from Southeast Asia That Left a Deep Impact on Everyone

Southeast Asian ad campaigns always bring something new to the table. The rich history and cultural heritage of the region are well reflected in the brand commercials. Moreover, the commercials don’t shy away from addressing issues that are deep-rooted in their society or directly impact their day-to-day lives.

If you’ve been planning to launch an ad campaign for your Southeast Asian audience, this blog is for you. Here are the 5 best ads from the Southeast Asian region that left a deep impact on everyone.

1. Nike: The Future Isn’t Waiting

White supremacists in KKK’s outfits would be the first image that would pop up in your mind every time you hear the term ‘racism’. However, this commercial sheds light on the issue of racism in Japan by depicting real-life experiences of mixed-race Japanese teenagers.

The commercial garnered attention globally for its take on diversity and inclusion. While some praised Nike for bringing the issue to light, others got upset over the brand’s interference in a local issue and poorly projecting their country. Well, regardless of whether or not it’s a case of systemic discrimination in Japan, the real-life experiences of a person must always be given weightage.

2. Indonesian Family Planning Association: Child Marriage

11.2% of 79.6 million children in Indonesia are married before the age of 18 years. 34.5% of child marriages occur in the 10-15 year age group. If these stats don’t make you ponder upon the curse of child marriages, this brutal 30-second commercial from the Indonesian Family Planning Association certainly will.

While child marriages have become increasingly uncommon in most parts of the world, it is still going on in a few Asian countries. Not only does child marriage deprives children of their rights, but it is also the root of health and population problems in Indonesia.

Watch this breathtakingly powerful commercial in service of addressing an unspeakable injustice.

3. RHB Bank: Light In a Time of Darkness

Life can often feel trapped in darkness. But as long as we have the strength and determination to keep going on, we’ll always find the light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s exactly what this commercial from RHB Bank and FCB Malaysia is all about.

The commercial is about an uplifting story of a well-known magician called Vikey, who starts losing his audience due to the pandemic. The ad shows how Vikey had to shift gears to sell durian for a living. But eventually, his situation changes, thereby, treating us to an awesome tale of determination and perseverance.

4. The Women’s Foundation Hong Kong: Make People Count

The Women's Foundation launched a major campaign #MakePeopleCount, aligned with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, to address sexual violence with an emotive film that highlights everyday scenarios where sexual violence commonly takes place.

The three-minute video chronicles the life of a woman whose self-worth diminishes after she’s sexually assaulted twice. Coined #MakePeopleCount, this campaign aims to break the taboo, boost preventative measures, encourage people to see victims as real people who need support as well as significantly improve the support available to victims – from government, employers, and individuals.

5. Ministry Of Community Development, Youth And Sports (MCYS): Funeral

The ‘Funeral’ is a TV commercial launched by the MCYS, Singapore in 2010. The 3-minute ad film looks at relationships through the lens of a widowed wife.

The woman begins her eulogy at her husband’s funeral with an alert that she won’t be singing praises about her husband. She instead talks about his snoring and farting habits. While the audience laughs, she says that it was her husband’s imperfections that lent perfection to their relationship and family.

Bottom Line

Over the years, various brands from Southeast Asia have delved into addressing important issues and steered away from creating commercials merely for entertainment purposes. Although such marketing methods run the risk of not getting much traction as viewers often tend to give more weightage to entertaining content, they help companies cement themselves as brands that genuinely care about those issues. Also, the audience acquired through such campaigns is most likely going to stay with your brand for a very long time.

We’ll be back with more amazing commercials for you. Till then, stay tuned.


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