Blessings come from hard work
Petronas’ commercial this year highlights the sacrifices it takes to put food on the table
OVER the past decade, festive celebrations are times for major brands to share messages of virtue and respect through television commercials. And the commercials that Malaysians look forward to are definitely the ones from Petronas.
With taglines that remind us that our greatest blessings are always right by our side, these heartwarming and tear-jerking commercials resonate with every Malaysian because they give a glimpse into our lives.
Through time, the commercials from Petronas have grown into short films, being more than just sending a product or service message.
They’ve become films that remind us of deep-rooted values and virtues like respect for parents, the importance of family and friendship, as well as the joys of living in a multiracial country.
Every May, for the past few years, Petronas takes us on a beautiful journey rich in culture and heritage through their Kaamatan and Gawai commercials. This year’s commercial will take us on a different journey. It brings us on a reflection of strength, hard work and, most importantly, gratefulness.
Celebrating one of the true spirits of Kaamatan and Gawai, Petronas’ commercial this year will honour the omnipotent padi.
The spirit of the padi plant is believed to represent the all-powerful source of life and existence. Those celebrating the festivals believe that the padi plant does not only provide them with food, but is also a symbol of love and life.
The harvest festival, as it is referred to in English, is a day of giving thanks to the gods for the blessings of a good, bountiful harvest and humbly requesting the blessings to continue.
Starting with a scene depicting what Malaysians do best, the advertisement begins with a typical longhouse meal taking place. Loud chatter and laughter is heard as a large family seats on the floor and enjoys each other’s company.
A group of kids suddenly decides to go swimming and leave their meals abruptly to go to a river.
The kids are no other than Anang and her friends, whom we met in Petronas’ Chinese New Year commercial “It Came From A Tin Mine”.
As the urban children run off to the river with their fancy swim gear, Anang’s grandfather stops her and asks her to take the family buffalo to the padi field. He reminds her sternly that Jojo the buffalo must be taken to the padi field first before she could go swimming.
Disappointed by the interruption, the five friends decide to help Anang. How hard can that be, right? Little did they realise that getting a water buffalo to move is no easy feat!
True to the children’s “never say die” attitude, just like when they were trying to catch the “the King of the River” fish in February, the five friends rally together to find new ways to move Jojo.
They put on their thinking hats and come up with all sorts of ideas, including waving a red towel in front of Jojo like a Spanish matador, and pushing it from the back like a stalled car.
The light-heartedness of these scenes will bring a smile on your face. The scene where all five of them run in opposite directions just at the wag of Jojo’s tail is a perfect example and will surely get you bursting with laughter.
Anang’s family watch in amusement and cheer the children from their longhouse, but no matter what the five friends try, they fail to move the buffalo.
Watching closely from the window is Aki, or grandfather in Anang’s native language.
Aki calls the kids in to rest and have a drink. But when they go back into the longhouse, all they see are five plates of half-eaten rice and vegetables. Perplexed, Anang and her friends sit around the plates trying to figure out what is going on.
Once again, Aki’s gentle but stern voice is heard as he shares with the children how he and Jojo worked for months to plant, tend and harvest the padi field. He reminds them of the hard work and sacrifice that goes to ensure that they have rice on their plates every day. The children are blessed with abundance and should not waste the food.
Guilt-ridden and reminded of the true essence of celebrating the harvest festival, Anang and her friends quickly finish every grain of rice on their plates.
True to what it is known for, this Petronas commercial tugs at the viewer’s heartstrings, especially the younger urban generation.
It reminds us of the hardship behind the scenes even though we are lucky to be born in modern times.
It reminds us of how quick we move on to the next adventure before we can truly cherish and honour what is in front of us.
It teaches us that respect, determination, togetherness and gratefulness are values that must be carried throughout our lives, and every blessing as a result of hard work and sacrifice.