Selamat datang ke Malaysia, which means “Welcome to Malaysia”, is how the beautiful country beckons you through its ad campaign – “Malaysia, Truly Asia”. The campaign has been on for more than a decade now and has helped Malaysia, which was struggling to bring peace amid its religious diversity till sometime ago, come a long way in presenting itself as a harmonious blend of cultures and a true symbol of pluralism. The country has converted itself into a brand that asserts it to be the true soul of Asia.
The campaign, which is an excellent example of destination branding, has been dynamic and has adapted with technical innovations over the years. Apart from advertisements on radio and TV, the campaign has launched its own YouTube channel, is available on Flickr, Twitter, WebTV, Facebook and other social networking sites.
The effectiveness of the campaign lies in its ability to bring all the highlights of the place and making a beautiful mixture which showcases the country as a pleasant blend of multiple ethnicities, cultures and a varied topography with hills, beaches and dense forests; adventure, romance, leisure and fun topped with delicious culinary delights; a spectacular sight with myriad cultures and their celebrations. From the hills, beaches and forests to the modern cities which have it all that you may ask for and more, all has been covered in the campaign.
Though the tagline has remained the same, the music and places featuring in the ads have changed over the years. The ad features some of the best tourist spots in Malaysia. The basic strategy has been to showcase the country as a complete package and the ads have successfully encapsulated these varied aspects. It has something for everyone, every occasion and mood.
The ads also lay stress on the hospitability of the people of the country with captions such as – Welcome to Malaysia, Malaysia awaits you, come to where the air is as warm as the hospitality, etc. The official website of Malaysia lets you take a peek at the places to visit and also promotes the upcoming events. Since multiple religions and cultures co-exist in the country, there are festivals all year around and this has been aptly portrayed in the ads featured in the campaign.
Apart from social networking and TV ads, the campaign has also marketed the brand in press and magazines as well as travel trade fairs. The aim has been to keep the focus on the tagline and the picture that accompanies with less or no text. The music that has been chosen over the years for this campaign has been really appealing as the melody stays with the viewer long after the song has ended. The visuals used make a distinct mark on the memory and makes the place all the more alluring. The theme has been to bring under one umbrella, the essence of the place with a distinctive identity and cultural amalgamation of various groups (Ng 2007).
The campaign has been hugely successful winning many awards globally leading to a steady rise in tourist footfalls over the years. The success lies in the elaborateness with which the country is portrayed and the fact that the tagline is so catchy that it leaves an impression on your mind so much that one cannot help but repeat it every time they speak of the country. Also, the campaign has depicted Malaysia as a unique one stop destination to experience all of Asia (Yeoh 2011). And even though some people believe it is time to shut down the campaign or renew it with a new tagline and an image makeover, it will forever remain one of the best examples of long term destination branding.
Celebrating 1Malaysia…Truly Asia 2013, Malaysia Truly Asia, 27 November, retrieved 22 April 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvAcBMZUjAc>.
Malaysia Truly Asia – Commercial Song 2010 2010, Cutimalaysiadotmy’s channel, 6 November, retrieved 22 April 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW_Q4tL3oCM>.
Tourism Malaysia 2016, About Malaysia, Tourism Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, retrieved 22 April, <http://www.malaysia.travel/en/in/about-malaysia>.
Yeoh, C 2011, Malaysia, truly Asia, New Mandala, 25 December, retrieved 22 April 2016,<http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2011/12/25/malaysia-truly-asia/>.
Ng, E 2007, ‘’Truly Asia’: Malaysia melds modern, ancient and natural wonders’, 2 June, retrieved 22 April 2016, <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2007-02-06-malaysia_x.htm>.
Published By: Baibhab Mahapatra
Deakin ID: 214311899