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10 Malaysian Ads That Are So Bad, They Are Good.


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At The Bullet, we believe that no good ads should go without recognition. “Good” as in being so bad, they do a pretty “good” job at catching your attention.

Here is our list of 10 local ads that have made the cut:

1. Good at Being Annoying

“Why You Should Buy The Gold Disc”
Way before Torrents and YouTube pre-rolls came into existence, Malaysians had this to deal with. Most still do, actually. But at least we know better than to buy purple discs instead of gold ones.

2. Good at Being Effective

“Old Newspaper, Paper Lama”
If you want something, you ask for it. That’s what the local paper lama traders do best. They even do it in MULTIPLE languages, so nobody gets left out. It’s nothing grand, but there’s no denying that it works. It’s even been unchanged for all these years, so much so that it has become part of Malaysian heritage! Oldest ongoing ad in the world? Perhaps!

3. Good at Being Relevant

“SYM – Safee Yang Menunggang”
Nothing says relevance like incorporating your brand and its spokesperson in the same tagline. It’s such a shame that Suzuki sponsors the AFF Cup – an SYM tie-in with the competition would have made it all even MORE relevant.

4. Good at Being Seductive

“Yusuf Taiyoob”
Remember the soft, caressing whispers of “Yusufffff Taiyoooob” on the radio? Who knew you could put a sex appeal to dates? Brilliant.

5. Good at Being Practical

“What To Eat, What To Eat? Chicken Rice, Chicken Rice!”
Unless you’ve got a better suggestion on what to have for dinner… Chicken Rice it is. Thanks for putting our indecisiveness to rest, The Chicken Rice Shop. Now my family and I no longer have to fight over what to eat. Best jingle ever!

6. Good at Being a Gleek

“KLMU’s Cinema Commercial”
There has been an influx of university commercials at the cinemas of late. But this one takes the cake. After all, don’t teenagers dream of studying at an institution where they can burst out singing, as they weave in and out from one classroom to another? It’s a Gleek’s dream come true! All together now – “I’ve got the whole world… in my hands!”

7. Good at Being Lame
“Tune Talk – Now Every Man Can Iron”
Jason Lo ironing a shirt? It was a lame, running joke taken too literally. We’d love to share the video with you, but it’s not on YouTube anymore; nor are they addressing requests for the commercial itself on their Facebook page. Till then, you may lose yourself in its equally (or slightly less) lame predecessor – Lord Of The Sims.

8. Good at Low-Budget Special Effects

“GSC–EON Bank Credit Card”
Lo and behold – another cinema commercial! (This really makes going in that extra 10 minutes earlier worth your time, eh?) The spot had just the right amount of special effects to deliver the message that with just a snap of your finger – everything at GSC will revolve around only you and your date, while non-subscribers cheer and watch on with absolute pride as you make your way into the cinema. First-class treatment all the way? Where do I sign up?

9. Good at Making People Laugh Although No One Knows What’s Happening

“Twisties – Life’s Better Twisted”
If you don’t get it, you must be missing the point. This campaign was also good enough to be an Effie finalist. How about that?

10. Good at Being Obscure

“Our Cables Are A Bit Expensive”
Last but not least, our absolute favourite. No one’s 100% sure of what’s going on here – but it definitely provides motorists with more than enough to think about during long and arduous journeys on the highway. And Christmas. And Chinese New Year. And Hari Raya.

But if you’ve got it figured out – tell us. Now.

Jokes aside, these ads are also proofs that you don’t need million-dollar budgets to create effective advertising. Perhaps there is a science to bad/unintentionally bad ads, and how they can swing things in our favour.

Till we find out what that is – let’s just stick to telling the truths about brands, shall we?

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  • jd

    rumour has it marvel shut down tunetalk’s iron video..

  • dj

    one ad didn’t make the cut here, and it’s the worst. NKRA’s blue advertisement right before the toll to KLIA.

    • Thanks for letting us know! Do take a picture for us – we completely missed that one! Who knows, there may be a sequel in the works. 😉

  • phang

    erm, none of these ads were done with any “science” or “art” to be “intentionally bad”, more than likely they were done with the illusion that it’s good. and just because it caught attention doesn’t make them “effective”. Also, the old newspaper bit isn’t so much “advertising” than it is just another service announcement, i mean, if that can be lumped into “advertising”, so is every other snake oil peddler, loud-mouthed night market stall owner, and the auntie down the street “advertising” her less-than-ideal domestic life.

    • Thanks for sharing that observation, phang! :)
      So, what exactly does it take for a piece of work to be considered as “advertising” nowadays?

  • miskol

    “Our Cables Are A Bit Expensive”… for this Ad there is a continuity, after you see this first sign, later along the road there will be another Ad from the company saying something about better quality.

  • Pingback: Advertising With GST | Branding Blog | The Bullet()

  • blackzangel

    OPPO ad everywhere now! Sg Wang Mall it’s call OPPO mall from now on!

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