Friday 14th June 2024
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Does advertising in Malaysia need a revamp?

Take a quick look at the Official Website of Tourism in Malaysia website, and you’ll see that Malaysia is a country that openly refers to itself as "a melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in harmony". Indians make up over 7% of the country’s population, and schooling in Tamil – along with Malay and Chinese – is provided by the government.

Despite the fact that Indians have a solid and obvious presence within the Malaysian population, there is an issue that has recently come to light: advertising in Malaysia does not seem to include or be aimed at the Indian subpopulation.

Check out this website to watch a video about advertising in Malaysia. The face of the project is stand-up comedian Kavin Jay who is working together with boutique ad agency Creative Juice and The Greatest Hits Internet content production group.

"Tolonglah Advertised Malaysian-born Indians" a.k.a. Tambi have taken it upon themselves to ask why the Indians are not being advertised to. "Why don’t you people try to sell us cars?" Kavin asks. "Don’t you know we don’t get from A to B in bullock carts anymore?"

Tambi are asking creative agencies to join them in helping to change the way brands look at Indians. According to them, it’s only during Deepavali that Indian faces appear in advertising. "Come on lah," says Kavin. "We’re always here you know. Not just during Deepavali. But we’re sending you this message during Deepavali…because seriously, when else have you ever listened to us?"

Are you part of a creative agency? Or do you simply have a good advertising idea that is targetted at Indians? If so, this could be a great opportunity for you! Tambi are asking people to submit their ideas, and it can be anything – a print ad, a radio script, a TVC storyboard or a sketch. Once you have your idea, send it to, and see if you can make a difference to the face of advertising in Malaysia. Read more about the submissions opportunity here.

As Kavin points out, Indians are a small group who may spend a lot of money…"So please, put an Indian in front of the camera for a change. We promise we not to run off with the camera…"