So many Raya ads, so little time. Not that we’re complaining, as it’s the more the merrier in another year of a toned-down Aidilfitri. Watching these ads and talking about them supports the local film and creative industries, in addition to indirectly boosting the local economy. But where to start? Let us recommend our favourite Raya ads of this year, based on what we think you’ll like!
You’re unconventional and always questioning the status quo
You can usually count on Raya ads to turn on the waterworks. Some, however, do not age well—bringing on tears of a different kind if you were to watch them today. Julie’s ‘Ini Iklan Raya, Tau?’ is deliciously self-aware and cheeky in its well-aimed jabs at patriarchal stereotypes. If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at yet another on-screen mum harping on about marriage, or the “filial” daughter slaving alone over a stove to prepare the Raya feast, this is one ad where you’ll be laughing out loud and hitting the “share” button.
You like Disney movies and sing along to all the songs
Since the pandemic, Petronas has switched from producing wildly memorable short films to fully animated ads. Kudos to the team for opting to err on the side of caution when it comes to social distancing. ‘Syukur Raya’ hits the right note (pun intended) in its theme of neighbourly goodwill as Malaysian Muslims are unable to balik kampung for the second consecutive year. Maybe it’s the singing and talking bird but this tale of Poji, a delivery rider who projects his longing for his mother onto his cantankerous neighbour, has a slight Aladdin vibe to it. Do you feel it too?
Supporting local is more than a feel-good tagline to you
Giving a new spin to the message that “Raya’s blessings are best enjoyed together”, Maxis brings local micro-businesses into the fold this year in collaboration with Shopee. The ‘Raya Si Sakan’ ad features cameos by Shopee sellers through product placements
a la Korean dramas. These run the gamut of festive essentials, from cookies to clothing, with an online directory on the Maxis website for easy reference. Go watch and support local!
You love a good romcom and enjoy K-dramas
Perodua’s ‘Baju Siapa’ has a warm vintage look to it that’s easy on the eyes. Set in an old-school dobi, it nevertheless manages to stay relevant to the times with characters who are mindful of Covid SOPs. There’s kinship, community, humour and a hint of romance—making it one of this year’s more memorable and heartfelt Raya shoutouts.
You’d rather see the glass as half full and not half empty
‘Raya Paling Sempurna’ comes from some of the people hardest hit by the pandemic: the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia. Somehow, they’ve found the silver lining in these challenging times by facing adversity with positivity. The protagonist here is Mia, a tween whose family all work in the aviation industry. Duty has always come first during special occasions, which means they never had the chance to celebrate Raya all together before the pandemic. Now that everyone is home at the same time, Mia’s endearing and quirky family is determined to have a good time. Their unusual Raya traditions are compulsively watchable!
You’ve got a soft spot for the marginalised and oft-forgotten
Instead of the usual storyline revolving around festive preparations, Mr. DIY shines a light on the deaf and mute community this Raya in ‘Kerana Azman‘. It somehow also manages to fit in friendship and helping the underprivileged, without seeming disingenuous. According to comments on YouTube, Adam Arif—the child actor who plays Azman—isn’t hearing impaired but everyone else in his immediate family is deaf and mute. Hence, his fluency in sign language. Don’t say we didn’t want you: Get your tissues ready before pressing play.
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