While 2020 and 2021 are two of the most difficult years in the history of advertising, The APPIES saw an astounding amount of exceptional work, which proved that a pandemic did not stand in the way of creativity.
“The pandemic truly changed the landscape of advertising. We needed something that was not only bold, but one that would engage with the audience, spark conversations and become the talk of town. That’s when we decided to re-think, re-strategise and re-work the way we did things at Fishermen Integrated, and thankfully it worked for us,” said Managing Director of Fishermen Integrated, Mark Darren Lee.
Fishermen Integrated thrives through unconventional creativity
Fortunately, Fishermen Integrated’s decision to be unconventional and bold worked out to their benefit. They took home the biggest wins of the night with the most Gold awarded to an agency, 3 Gold and 1 Silver with campaigns for Nando’s, Pizza Hut and Grab.
Nando’s emerged as the toast of the show bagging 2 Gold awards for their campaign “Re-celebrate 2020”.
When the pandemic hit in the early 2020, Malaysians were left stuck at home and missing out on many big festive occasions and milestones. Being distant from family and friends and unable to dine together brought the people’s spirits down and Nando’s wasn’t having it.
So when the lockdown eased towards the final quarter of 2020, Nando’s grabbed the opportunity to call on Malaysians to re-celebrate the missed festivities with their campaign “Re-celebrating 2020!”.
The campaign quickly caught the attention of Malaysians everywhere, curious to find out if Nando’s had made a mistake when they wished everyone Selamat Hari Raya and Happy Chinese New Year in September.
This confusion caused a whole lot of buzz on social media, getting the attention of other brands that teased them at the timing of their post and that made them the talk of the town.
When Nando’s finally revealed the reason behind the greetings, they had already achieved their target of raising the spirits in all Malaysians despite the gloominess of the pandemic and proceeded to share rewards with them in order to “Re-celebrate 2020” joyfully.
The campaign topped Malaysia’s Twitter trending charts in just 2 days, and reached exceptional increase in brand mentions, sales, and total reach.
“We’re happy for Re-celebrate 2020 to receive the recognition from APPIES. This is an especially meaningful campaign to us as the campaign was first and foremost, developed with our customers in mind. It was not an initiative to just drive sales or create brand buzz but ultimately about spreading positivity when we were all hit hard by an unfamiliar challenge brought upon by the pandemic. We really wanted to create something that could re-energize our customers and we knew that “Re-celebrate 2020” did exactly that when we saw the responses from our customers, the media as well as other brands,” said Senior Marketing Manager of Nando’s Malaysia, Elaine Chiew.
While Nando’s made a huge impact on the moods of netizens in the final quarter of 2020, Pizza Hut won Gold at the APPIES and the hearts of Malaysians with their campaign Pizza Heart starring Jiwang Jeff during Valentines Day.
Jiwang Jeff became the Aunt Agony of the 21st century and garnered the attention of everyone in a love dilemma, everywhere. He gave them personalised solutions to their problems and warmed their hearts with Pizza Hearts.
To spice up the campaign even further, Pizza Hut decided to spread love even to its competitors with cheeky messages that caught massive attention on all social media platforms.
“This award serves as a reminder for us, that whenever you are in doubt, believe in yourself, believe in your team, and believe in the agency to know what’s good for us to engage and inspire our customers,” said Senior Marketing Manager Brand Comms & Innovation at Pizza Hut, Quennie Tan.
Fishermen Integrated chose to warm the hearts of Malaysians at a very difficult time and kept the Malaysian-ness in their campaigns including Grab’s campaign “Huatever you want, Grab got!” that won Silver at the APPIES.
Grab, started their campaign with a problem. Malaysians commonly saw them as a ride-hailing app but they needed to change this perspective to “your everyday, everything app”.
So they ran their campaign at possibly the busiest time of the year, which is Chinese New Year, when there’s just so much to do and not enough time.
Incorporating the term “Tai-chi” (which means to pass your responsibility to others), Grab released a film that showed an adorable boy having to carry out all the responsibilities of his siblings for Chinese New Year.
He then learns the art of Tai-chi-ing it to Grab and the campaign immediately caught the attention of netizens who were also looking for help to clean their house, shop for groceries, look for the most unusual yee sang and many more.
The campaign which brought a great pool of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and the largest number of vendors providing unique choices of yee sang to spice up the festivities did not just solve problems for netizens, but it made them the “go-to” app for the season, which consequently changed the perspective of Malaysians about Grab.
“Having 3 different clients secure wins at the APPIES during the pandemic, has brought us so much joy and reassures us that we’re on the right track to bridging our clients’ wants to their consumers’ needs. 3 Gold and 1 Silver at the APPIES this year has indeed boosted the morale of the team and serves as an inspiration to keep churning more exceptional campaigns,” said Group Brand Director at Fishermen Integrated, Joyce Gan.