4 Things the Nikon Malaysia "Selfie" Ad Got Right


By now, you've probably come across this Nikon Malaysia ad to promote one of their cameras. (If you haven't already, I'll link it here). The response from this video ranges from dumbstruck to nausea inducing to pure, righteous anger. And I won't disagree. When I first watched it, I got literal goosebumps and had to stop before I went into cardiac arrest. But a few days later, I rewatched the ad again and found out that once you get past the gag factor, it actually has a lot of truth in it.

Yes, it's like the stinky tofu of video ads.

Here are the 4 things I think the ad got right, gathered after multiple reviewings. You're welcome.

#4 The English

One of the biggest criticisms of the Nikon ad was the atrocious English used in both the copywriting and the conversation. Let's be honest here. Malaysians really do speak like that in real life. Well, not all Malaysians, just a small segment. There are some people actually do think that "Let me show you a new camera that I has bought." is a grammatically correct sentence. Malaysians also tend to develop accents, and I'll be damned if the three girls weren't trying their best to emulate a normal Malaysian. Plus, there is a gratuitous use of Malaysian slang mixed into the 'conversations'. Like the girl said, it's "normal wan, normal wan".

#3 The Notion of Beauty

"I want to make my face smaller. *fiddles* Wow!" Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or the 'glay-mour retouch' function on a camera. You can't post a selfie of yourself without first making sure to use the edit function.

Y'know, for those "bigger eyes, and the cheek...part."

#2 The Actresses

Much of the criticisms have also been aimed at the three female leads for portraying glitzy, airheaded characters who set gender equality back a few decades. BUT! Here's the thing. The actresses were doing what they were supposed to be doing, act. Okay, so they didn't act very naturally, but isn't acting unnaturally also a form of acting? Ponder on that for a bit.

#1 The Social Construct

See, I've noticed that this ad gets the most important thing about Malaysians right. The first thing the girl does is to walk into the cafe and snap a dozen photos of herself.

Not only do we want to snap a thousand photos of ourselves, or "selfies" to share to the whole world, we want to also take pictures of the food placed in front of us, as soon as it arrives. Immediately posting the pictures up online is also another social necessity, because as the girls gushed near the end, "The three of us is so cuteeeeee~~~!!!"

Otherwise, if you take away all of the above, it's a pretty crappy ad.


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