We Malaysians know Raya is coming when the softly invasive-hypnotic whispers of “Yusuf Taiyoob” begin to slowly make their way out of radio ads…
… and when the Mak Cik Nasi Kerabu’s stall is no longer present at the bazaar. Without you noticing it, it’s already the last week of Ramadan.
Besides getting stuck in traffic at the most ungodly hours due to the usual scrimmage at Jalan TAR (last minute Raya deals – causing massive crawls even at 12 in the afternoon), we know Raya is coming at us real fast – and real good – when we start seeing Raya ads everywhere.
Now, these Raya ads are not just one or two minutes worth of heavy product or brand advertising. We take our Raya ads seriously, mind you! And the best part is that it’s not even targeted to specifically those celebrating Raya, it’s for all of us, #Malaysians5ever.
Why do we take our Raya ads so seriously? Because these ads are secretly everyone’s autobiography in a short 5-minute snippet; the ones about childhood, the ones about #bawang relatives, the ones about us being “anak derhaka”, and of course, some of them had unforgettable jingles we couldn’t stop singing even about ten years after!
Throughout the years, we’ve seen so many great ones (the content quality is astoundingly good, it makes you question why the local filming industry insists on producing movies like Badang for goodness’ sake!). However, although 2018’s lineup is pretty strong, I’m taking you back in time to revisit the past 3 Raya ads that made us cry, laugh and go “aww” (in that order, yes).
1. Plastic Bowl – Petronas 2006
I knew you didn’t forget this ad. Who could ever?!
The story follows a young couple constantly struggling to look after their ageing father, and are seen mistreating him and being blatantly rude to him. The one thing they didn’t realise was that their children were watching them – and following their footsteps. Finally, karma slapped their tight faces when their kids made a mockery out of them and threatened to treat them just as badly. It made the lady cry as she begged her father for forgiveness (tahu pun takut!) – and we all wept with her.
2. 7 Beradik – Petronas 2003 (year unconfirmed)
This is probably one of my personal favourites because it was so well-crafted and thought out, laced with that signature dash of Malay-style humour that is reminiscent of P. Ramlee’s old movies. The story follows 7 young Malay boys helping out their single mother with the Raya feast preparations, when they realised that they’ve forgotten to get meat and cow innards. This then sets them on a quest to get their mother what she needs before Raya.
Sure enough, they found that meat and innards were hot items and couldn’t get them anywhere, until…..
3. Pengacau Raya – BSN 2015
This one’s a more recent ad – and a cute one, too. It follows the story of Aloy, a Chinese convert and his Malay wife, Zaitun, as they take on Raya as a couple for the very first time. For the most part, this ad was really cute because it played on the whole interracial marriage card, and we Malaysians are suckers for cutesy interracial couples!
Aloy’s eagerness tends to ruin things rather than help – thus earning him the moniker “Pengacau Raya” which translates to being somewhat of a pest. The ad gets funny right there when he really ended up being a “Pengacau”, in a much different way than Zaitun thought!