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Maxis gives voice to endangered Malaysians

Ensemble Worldwide, IPG Mediabrands Malaysia’s creative agency, and Maxis, have unveiled a campaign titled “The Endangered Malaysians” in conjunction with the upcoming Merdeka Day celebrations.

The month-long project for national day seeks to gives voice and support conservation of endangered animals in Malaysia.

Executive Creative Director of Ensemble Worldwide, Chan Woei Hern, said, “We realised there is a community of unseen, unheard and disappearing Malaysians that are born in Malaysia but left behind as we develop as a nation – the endangered animals of Malaysia.”

Partnering with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN), Huawei and renowned Malaysian photographers, David Lok, Kenny Loh and Nana Safiana, alongside wildlife photography consultant Sanjitpaal Singh, the endangered animals of Malaysia are commemorated and celebrated through photography, the campaign video, and through the website which encourages pledges that translates into donations. For every pledge made on social media in support of Malaysia’s endangered animals with the #KitaRakyatMalaysia hashtag, Maxis will donate RM1 towards PERHILITAN’s conservation efforts.

Mr Woei Hern adds, “Every year, Maxis finds ways to demonstrate a higher purpose for technology and the power of the internet. This Merdeka, we wanted to redefine the use of the most powerful tool in our hands, the mobile phone. We asked ourselves how we could use technology to help those who can’t, and to look beyond our selfies and turn the lens outwards to make a difference. It was then that we decided to tell the stories of the animals who share this land with us.”

Tai Kam Leong, Maxis Head of Brand and Partnerships, said, “As an internet company, our job is to connect people, and bring Malaysians closer, no matter where and who they are. The use of technology to humanise the endangered animals that share our land is such a simple idea by the Ensemble team, but so very powerful. After all, they are Malaysian too, and we know that whenever another Malaysian is in need, all Malaysians will unite as one to help. More importantly, we wanted to highlight the seriousness of population decline. But there is hope, and this is what we’ve seen at conservation centres across the nation.”

The campaign looks to humanise the Malayan Tiger, Malayan Tapir, Sun Bear, Orang Utan and Asian Elephant, with the microsite sharing details about why they are threatened and facts on their estimated remaining numbers in the wild.

Mr Woei Hern adds, “The sad fact is that there are currently only around 250 Malayan tigers in the wild, with numbers rapidly dwindling due to deforestation, poaching, and a lack of education around how we can run conservation projects. This majestic animal is a national symbol, having a place of honour on our national coat of arms, and is the very fabric of who we are as Malaysians. We now sit at the cusp of their extinction, and this was the stark reality we faced when producing the film.”

The digital video features the making of the main film, with the photographers venturing into Taman Negara, with the mission to capture images of specific animals, only to come out disappointed as it is getting harder to spot them in the wild due to dwindling numbers. It is then revealed that the photographs were taken at conservation centres.

Production of the project was done in partnership with Mojo Films, Studio DL and in collaboration with Huawei.

“We now understand how urgent this situation is, and that it is actually bigger than any national body or brand to undertake. This is why we need Malaysians to come together once more, to remind them of the power they have in their hands. We are thankful for Maxis being brave enough to take the first step with this project. We now need all Malaysians to walk this journey with us,” said Mr Woei Hern.

The campaign runs through Merdeka Day till Malaysia Day on September 16, with an on-ground interactive experience held at the IPC Shopping Centre, Damansara, from August 24 till September 2, 2018.

As said in the closing reminder of the 30 second feature film, “Change. Hope. A better tomorrow. Every Malaysian deserves it. After all, #KitaRakyatMalaysia (We are all Malaysian)”.