Spikes Asia

Creation Nation

CELCOM, Kuala Lumpur / CELCOM / 2021

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Case Film






With a legacy brand like Celcom, a central figure in advancing Malaysia’s journey towards becoming a more connected society, the brand knew it had to step up support Malaysians during this challenging time.

Every year, without fail, when it comes to festive advertising, especially during Merdeka, Celcom and others run campaigns promoting the fuzzy feeling of unity. But in 2020, the 63rd Merdeka is unlike others we’ve ever experienced. Cognisant of the challenges Malaysians are going through, Celcom knew that it can't create another typical ad that offers the usual message - It can’t be one that SAYS we care, it needs to show that we do. Our task – How do we use Merdeka Day (National Day) as an opportunity to showcase Celcom’s innovation leadership during tough times?


CREATE together with purpose.

“Mereka’ translated into English means ‘Create’, it is a theme that spoke the circumstances of Malaysians who we are seeing already on the ground creating unconventional services to help those in need during the pandemic; from everyday citizens, civil servants to businesses. This pandemic ignited a spirit of unity and selflessness, where everyone rolled up their sleeves and did their bit to help one another.

And ‘Merdeka’ means Independence but it’s true essence means the coming together as one nation for the greater good of the nation and its people.

The campaign ‘Mereka Merdeka’ is an unconventional call-to-arms to Malaysians to come together to create with purpose. No better platform for Celcom to demonstrate its brand purpose of how technology and connectivity can advance society and its people.


The pandemic sees no colour, age, race, or income. It targets in mass, and the impact has been devastating and unfathomable. Most of the Malaysia segments are affected, but unfortunately, they some who were hit the hardest - first jobbers, students, business owners, and everyday employees.

We knew this was an opportunity to showcase Celcom’s tech and innovation leadership by giving these segments access to an open-sourced platform with accessible design tools, allowing them to create and monetise their creativity. And there is no better way to express creatively the meaning of being Malaysian during this pandemic-stricken Merdeka, on one of the most polarising accessory of the year, the face mask.


We know that the platform was the hero, but it also consists of several but crucial parts that made this campaign a success;

1.The Film - Inspired by events in 1910, we created a film that tells the story of a Malaysian doctor, Dr. Wu Lien Teh, who in 1910 created the first face mask (what we know today as the N95 Mask) to help people through the Manchurian plague pandemic. This film was the call to arms for Malaysians to participate.

2.The Right Partner – Earth Heir, a Fair Trade Certified Malaysian company, was a fitting partner who not only was able to help us produced the face masks but importantly shared our vision of helping those in the community.

3.Designers – We commission famous local artists (the likes of Alia Bastamam, Cloak..) from different creative sectors to design one-of-a-kind, collectable face masks that would kick the campaign off.


Malaysians took to the Campaign;

1. Raised RM66,000 for the creators.

2. Received a total of 972 submissions from the public. Outperforming against the 200 submission KPI by 386%.

3. The film garnered a total of 4 million views and 22,231 clickthrough to the platform.

Malaysians took to the Brand as well;

Against 30 other Merdeka ads (Including our competitors Digi and Telekom Malaysia), ‘MeReka Merdeka’ came out top 3 in emotive benchmark:

1) “one of the BEST TELCO advertisement recently” : 78% against Benchmark of 62%

2) “It makes you FEEL GOOD about the brand” : 73% against Benchmark of 66%

3) “It makes me more INTERESTED in the brand” : 71% against Benchmark of 66%

(Source: Mereka Merdeka Campaign Performance Report, x̄ = 216, Dec 2020)

Icing on the cake;

Winner of the Youtube Works Awards 2020 for the Force for Good (COVID19 Edition) category.

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