It has been a dismal week in Malaysia as the DUKE tragedy has not only outraged the nation but highlighted severe problems with our driving culture as well as created vigilantes of our own who took matters into their own hands.
Occurring on the morning of the 3rd of May, two Myvi drivers who were allegedly racing down the Duta-Ulu Klang Express highway collided with a family car – claiming the lives of a husband, wife and their seven-month-old baby.
This disaster took many Malaysians onto social media where they proceeded to voice their rage and grief. In the midst, there was a growing collective that blamed Myvi drivers of the likes, demanding that they should take full responsibility for their behaviours on the road and overall bad driving habits.
As this snowballed, Malaysia consequently experienced a series of Myvi hate crimes – from innocent bystanders having their cars covered in paint, scratched, smashed and even torched.
As more and more distraught citizens lash out at the brand, we have to take a step back and ask ourselves:
“Is this fair? Does this serve any justice?”
As brands play very important roles in our lives, it’s easy to perceive them as personalities, or more specifically – heartless villains regarding this story. We as a nation must be mindful to not misconstrue our anger and shift the blame onto the product itself.
It is also a very slippery slope to put all their consumers into one basket, categorising all Myvi drivers as identical and punishing the lot for what was a crime committed by just two individuals.
We don’t enter bars and smash Heineken bottles out of the hands of partygoers every time there is a fatal drink driving case, do we?
We must see the bigger picture and start a narrative about our overall driving culture – putting severe emphasis on educating the public about road safety and policing such future acts from happening.
Likewise, on a branding standpoint, Myvi could take steps towards a campaign that would put their name back in a positive light. Maybe a campaign that told Malaysians that their cars didn’t cater to such activity or that they care about road safety? Maybe even an app or incentive that rewarded their rule-abiding drivers?
Whatever the case, maybe it’s about time Perodua stood for something real and started a conversation that mattered. Although it’s absolutely not their fault, Perodua now has a unique opportunity to steer away from surface (and maybe even damaging) lines like “Betul2 Onz” and occupy a niche which could really change the overall landscape of road anarchy we are currently facing in Malaysia.
What do you think MyVi should do as a brand?
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