It was 57 years ago that the resounding words of ‘Merdeka’ first echoed through the halls of Stadium Merdeka and the hearts of our people. As the day that marks our country as an independent, sovereign nation, it is no surprise that the buzz on ground is the liveliest this time of year.

The advertising industry is also abuzz with excitement and patriotism as we await the plethora of Merdeka themed ads that will never fail to jerk a tear or two during this season. And boy have they not disappointed.

The advertising industry is a competitive one – it is a literal battle of the wits to showcase one’s creativity and originality.  So it comes as a surprise when two power players in the telco industry come out with exact same idea on the exact same day with the exact same title.

DiGi and Maxis both celebrated the familial ties Malaysians acknowledge among each other as can be seen in the videos below:

From a marketing/advertising perspective, this unlikely coincidence is a tad awkward and definitely no good for brand equity. But for a Malaysian at ground level, it is nothing short of a heart-warming happenstance.

Two separate agencies came to the same conclusion at the same time. It only serves to further bolster the message that we all seem to unanimously agree on: we are family.

For a nation that has gone through a rough year, this repeated message of kinship is exactly what we needed to hear. It is comforting to know that we have family to lean on anywhere in the country.

So as we raise the Jalur Gemilang this Sunday to commemorate 57 years of independence, let us remember that we could not have gotten to where we are today without the contribution of each and every member of our society. We are brothers and sisters with a shared destiny.

Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia.

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