Five Deepavali ads we liked in 2020

Deepavali season is upon us, and select markets in the region are abuzz with exciting creative work. We take a look at some of our favourites this year.

Five Deepavali ads we liked in 2020

Petronas (Malaysia)

No Diwali is complete without murukku, and this ad is proof of that while exploring underlying themes of single parenthood and sibling rivalry. It begins with an animated version of murukku-related apparatus such as the mould and ready-made murukku flour dancing and singing with much glee, only to begin arguing about whose role is more important.

The scene morphs into real life where four siblings are seen arguing while making murukku before their father saunters into the kitchen with a wise warning. The film is beautifully produced by Ensemble Worldwide; the same agency—under the supervision of ECD Didi Pirinyuang—that produced Petronas' superb eraser battle ad for Merdeka Day.

Vivo (India)

The film shows a child upset as his father forgot to get him his Diwali gift. The father himself is under pressure at work because of the challenging working conditions caused by the pandemic. The child's friends come together surprise him and cheer him up by undertaking cute, innocent acts.

RHB Bank (Malaysia)

For their 2020 Deepavali film, RHB Bank and FCB Malaysia found an uplifting real-life story—and a great parable—in Vikey (Vikneswaran Allagu) a well-known magician. Titled 'Light in a time of darkness' the film shows how Vikey had to shift gears when the pandemic made his former career disappear (at least for a while). To continue supporting his family, he finds a way to use his magic skills to sell, of all things, durian.

JK Super Cement (India)

Not everyone is so lucky to be with loved ones this Diwali. This serves as a tribute to doctors and other medical frontliners for their sacrifices of isolating from family during the pandemic. Specifically in this story, a doctor is heartbroken that she can only manage communicating with her young daughter virtually during the holiday.

Taylor's University (Malaysia)

The story of this tale centers around Curious Kumar, a young boy who questions signs of systemic racism in Malaysia—home rental signs that say 'No Indians' or national ads that rarely feature Malaysian-Indians. His parents don't quite have answers for him, and eventually ask him to 'stop asking so many questions'.

While the ending is slightly marred by bloated writing delivered by Kumar's sister, it's quite something to have an ad touching on racial inequities during a time where so many brands choose to only display harmony and togetherness.

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