4 Patriotic Ways to Brand & Celebrate Merdeka 2019!
By Julia Koh & Syira Junaidi
Merdeka means independence. Here in Malaysia, it means sovereign self-rule after centuries of colonialism. This month marks the 62nd year of independence for our country. For the patriot inside us, it’s the time to feel some nationalistic pride and stick mini Jalur Gemilang flags on top of our vehicles.
For brands, it’s also the time to feel the spirit of patriotism and share the love and sentiment with their target audience. If your customers are Malaysian, there’s a good reason to hop on the hype and get some Merdeka themes in your marketing activities.
Here are 4 such ways to promote your brand during Merdeka season and connect with your customers:
Malaysians always enjoy heartwarming and tear-jerking advertisements during major holidays like Raya and Chinese New Year. These ads often have a story, a lesson, and most importantly, an emotional connection to the viewer. Let’s take a look at 2 examples of this year’s Merdeka ads:RHB Group
Using no dialogues or spoken words, this advert uses only the colours of t-shirts to convey a message. And their message is; we can all progress together if we start embracing our diversity. The door-opening metaphor at the end was also a great touch to bring the message home.
Petronas is no newbie in the holiday-themed advertising scene. This year, they released a story about friendship and understanding between an East Malaysian and a West Malaysian. After a rough start, they finally became friends because they share the same experience of being away from their home states.
- Sales & Promotions
Malaysians love a good bargain. So to celebrate on what it means to be a Malaysian, brands would have sales and promotions during the week or month of Merdeka. They can stimulate sales and give a slight push towards brand awareness. You’ll remind customers about the existence of your brand by getting their attention with an attractive offer.For example, Byme Skincare is promoting their Radiant Glow Skincare Set at RM62 off the original price. Why RM62? Because it’s 62nd year of independence! This e-commerce brand offers something that fits into the theme while enticing customers to shop at their website.
For restaurants like Aori Ramen, Merdeka promotion means encouraging more customers to dine at their outlet. As you can see, the 31% discount is to commemorate the date of independence, which is 31st August. It is set at 62 first ramen bowls to follow along the theme, but also to encourage customers to grab it fast, tapping into the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) tactic.
- Social Media
Aside from sales or media advertisements, you can show your love for the country with themed designs on your social media. Eye-catching visuals can encourage views and engagements, which look good for your social media presence. You can change your profile picture and cover photo, or post a special wish on the 31st August with GIFs or videos.
Some brands opted to hold or sponsor events for Merdeka, like this charity run. Other events can be concerts, bazaars, workshops, or any activities that people would want to do to celebrate Independence Day. This year’s 31st August also falls on a Saturday, which means more people would likely be willing to participate in outdoor activities since it’s the weekend. Here’s hoping for good weather!
For a lot of Malaysians, Merdeka is an important date to observe. Brands have to know what is appropriate and what is disrespectful when it comes to promoting their brand during Merdeka. But it’s safe to say that most Malaysians love advertisements with a positive message, sales and promotions that give them a bargain, creative but well-mannered social media posts, and fun casual activities for the family.
These patriotic branding and marketing activities can establish an emotional connection to the customers and tell them ‘Hey, we share your sentiment and we, too, love our country!’.