Which ads make you green with envy? A simple question Campaign Brief Asia is putting to some of the region’s most talented creatives and creative directors while they’re all working from home during these Covid-19 times. Here Sa’ad Hussein details the campaigns that have touched him.
What’s your favourite campaign globally from the past decade?
“Hello Ladies,…” My all time favourite ad campaign would definitely be Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” by Weiden & Kennedy. It’s the bravest and disruptive piece of work ever – to sell an old toiletry brand that my father used to freshen up with. It ticks all the creative and marketing boxes. Old Spice has made, all brands want to smell like a brand.
What’s your favourite campaign from Malaysia?
There have been many great campaigns in the past like the ones from Petronas and Nando’s, but the one that made me green like a matcha tea is the campaign by BSN called “Kuching Happy” (Happy Cat) created by local creative shop, Fishermen. They created an online series featuring a wise-cracking troll cat. It truly deserved the Grand Prix in the local creative awards show and the Effies (hiss).
What’s your best or your favourite campaign that you have personally been involved over your career?
“The Happiest Meal” comes to mind. It was a campaign created during the McDonald’s Minion Madness period where the craze for the Minion toy went overboard and resulted in lots of food wastage. The team and I, physically headed to various McD restaurants with a cardboard sign and a giant donation box to collect the “unwanted” Happy Meals for those who bought it for the toy and not the meal.
These were then redistributed immediately to the needy – from the homeless to orphanages. Thus, “The Happiest Meal” was born.
The news of our social campaign spread like wildfire. Every local media covered our story and many Malaysians volunteered to help. Alas, the campaign was short-lived and had to be shut down due to legal restraints. No awards or recognition needed here. But the realisation that we have in us the empathy and the will to do good.
What’s keeping you busy right now? What’s the best thing about being in isolation and working from home? What’s the downside?
I’ve gone back to the things I love – my family and photography. Being away in Malaysia for 20 years, I appreciate opportunities like this me to catch up with my loved ones at home, especially my youngest who has autism.
I’m also involved with the photography community though my new role in a startup. My hobby is now my job – what’s not to like.
Isolation allows me to reset everything – life, values, goals and expectations. so that we can begin life after the lockdown with renewed vigour and strength.
On the downside, I miss the human interaction and warmth of friends. And of course, the travels and my photography adventures.
One of Malaysia’s creative icons Sa’ad co-founded and managed the creative shop Sil Malaysia in 1996 and in 2006 TBWA\Group acquired the agency naming it Creative Juice. He was the executive creative director and managing director of the agency before assuming the TBWA Group CCO position in 2013, which saw him oversee both TBWA and Creative Juice’s portfolio of clients. In 2018 Sa’ad left his role as Chairman, TBWA\Malaysia Group to return to Singapore after 20 years away to join TBWA\Singapore as a creative consultant. He has now changed tact and is Chief Marketing Officer at Pixerf.