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Yasmin Ahmad’s Tan Hong Ming In Love Ads

Yasmin Ahmad’s Tan Hong Ming In Love advertisement has won the Cannes Lions Gold in the film category. Congratulations to Yasmin!


The Petronas Merdeka commercial Tan Hong Ming has won the Cannes Lions Gold in the film category, Malaysia’s first, on the final day of the Cannes Lions 55th International Advertising Festival, held from June 15 to June 21 in Cannes, France.

With a record high of 28,284 entries from 85 countries, the Cannes Lion is the largest and most prestigious annual advertising awards event worldwide.

Out of the 43 gold, 82 silver, 126 bronze and five Grand Prix Lions awarded, the Malaysian contingent of 20 took home three gold, three silver and five bronze Lions, led by Saatchi and Saatchi with one gold, two silver and two bronze Lions, according to the Adoi magazine website.

Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide Malaysia won a gold for Tan Hong Ming and a bronze for the same campaign titled Race in the film category. BBDO/Proximity also struck gold in the outdoor category with its Chrysler Korea’s campaign for Jeep.

Speaking to The Edge Financial Daily yesterday, McCann Erickson Malaysia CEO and 4A’s (Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia) vice-president Tony Savarimuthu, who attended the Cannes, said that only 21 gold Lions were awarded out of over 28,000 entries and while Malaysia had received many gold Lions before, Tan Hong Ming was the first to win a gold Lion in the film category, having competed against some of the most renowned film directors in the world.

“Both the jury and audience who viewed it recognised it very quickly. It was one of the most-talked-about commercials at the festival as it underscored the fact that powerful and effective communication can be a force to bring about positive change in society — a theme that reverberated throughout the festival,” he said.

Despite the gold Lion being the 20th award for Tan Hong Ming so far, Leo Burnett Malaysia film director and executive creative director Yasmin Ahmad told The Edge Financial Daily that she was surprised at the win. “I never assume these things as I don’t make my ads to win awards,” she said, adding that her husband was at Cannes to receive the award, as she was busy shooting commercials and filming a movie here.

“What’s important is the public’s reaction — Tan Hong Ming was well loved and that is enough a reward for me,” she said. Asked what she thought was the campaign’s winning essence, Yasmin said: “I always thought that children were much wiser and smarter than adults — they don’t care what race you’re from. The frustrating thing is that their learning discernment is from their parents; the very same people who are disdainful of the racial divide teach the same to their young.

“People are quite sick of the racial divide and someone just did something about it through children’s honest responses. During the Spikes awards, a multi-award-winning American advertising professional, John Merrifield (TBWA Asia Pacific’s ‘creative at large’), came up to me and shook my hand and said, ‘Thanks for making humanity cool again’. It wasn’t heavy-handed with any villains, as I didn’t want to take the racial divide route. I just wanted to show how possible and mutual it is to achieve in attitude,” said Yasmin.

Asked what the gold Lion win meant for the local ad industry, she said, “I don’t really think about that — I’m so shallow when it comes to the industry! I wouldn’t be presumptuous and assume to be an industry expert… but I am inspired by people who do real good work; it motivates me to try harder so maybe it’ll be likewise for others with this win,” she added.

She attributed the success to Petronas as an agency is only as good as its client. “I imagine only Petronas would have placed so much trust in me, allowing me to put humanity at the centre…and of course, there was destiny — we could have interviewed a million kids and not have found Tan Hong Ming!” she said.

Source : TheEdge

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