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Kausern Hieu, Country Manager of Nuffnang Malaysia

At the rate we’re going with Covid-19 cases continuing to rise in the country, there is a high chance that the current MCO will be extended for a longer period of time. Even if it’s lifted, I know many people residing in KL city would prefer not to balik kampung this year to avoid putting their elderly parents and family members at risk. 


As seasonal festivities in Malaysia promote gathering and re-connecting with loved ones, this has been the central theme of most Brand’s advertising messages in recent years. So, with the current situation, it is worth thinking about how a Brand should respond.  


Before I dive into what a Brand can do, please allow me to quickly touch on the subject of relationship building with our parents and family members, especially for those whose parents live outside of the Klang Valley, like mine. 


Relationships are not built with grand gestures alone such as visiting our aging parents 3x a year; during a festive season, taking them out for an expensive meal on their birthdays and celebrating Father’s/Mother’s Day. I’m not saying that these actions are unimportant but it should be coupled with many other little little actions throughout the year, such as calling them as frequent as you can to check-in with them, surprising them with their favourite food delivered via food delivery companies, giving them some extra pocket money via online transfer and so on and so forth. 


Consequently, any Brand that can create moments and opportunities like these in a socially distanced world would gain brand engagement and brand love. For example, Wing Heong, the dried meats and meat floss specialist (a staple tidbit during CNY), created a limited-edition gift box which you can place your order online on their website and get it delivered to your loved ones.


Here are more ideas.

  • How about a Brand offering a platform for users to generate CNY memes and greetings which can be instantaneously shared via instant messaging?

  • How about relevant Brands providing useful content to their audience such as teaching them how to make Yee Sang with a twist (low carb and refreshing version) at home? 

  • And how about a good old-fashioned flash sale conducted via Live Commerce? For example, your favourite influencers parading CNY-themed apparels and offering it live to their audience at an unbeatable good deal? (I hope my mom doesn’t chance upon any of such live commerce shows for she will surely buy an auspicious T-shirt for me and get it delivered to my doorstep – even at my age!)


All in all, gone are the days where all a Brand needs to do is to put out a heart-warming seasonal video to connect with its audience. Unfortunately, there is no one solution these days. A Brand needs to double down on many other touch points; from producing emotional video ads to offering practical e-commerce services. Remember, it’s the little little things. 


In closing, get creative! Your customers will remember you for it. But more importantly, a Brand should position itself as an enabler for relationship building to their customers, especially during the festivities because ultimately, the most human company wins.  


Please stay safe wherever you are and for those who are celebrating CNY, HAPPY CHINESE NIU YEAR!

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