For its 2018 Chinese New Year TV commercial, Tenaga Nasional Berhad focuses on bringing elements of feel-good, nostalgia and, most importantly, the theme of coming together for the festivity.

At the launch last Thursday, TNB’s Chief Corporate Officer, Datuk Wira Roslan Ab Rahman said: “No matter how busy you are, or where you are, everybody should come together for the festival. So balik kampung and be with your family this Chinese New Year.”

What he wants the commercial to remind its viewers, too, is that no matter how important technology may be, it will never replace the relationships we have with each other.

“Nowadays, people are constantly on their phones. The Coming Together commercial is a gentle reminder of how we celebrated CNY before, and as we reminisce, to celebrate the festival in the way it needs to be celebrated, together as a family with human contact.”

Some of the people involved in the making of the commercial. Photo:  TNB

The 60-second TV commercial starts off with members of a family in a house together. But each one of them are on their phones or devices with zero interaction among them.

An old photo in the phone brings one of them back to a time when her younger self and her brothers – with the help of their neighbour – put together a lion dance show in front of their house. By the end of the commercial, the protagonist gets her brothers and their neighbour to recreate the show once again as adults.

Wira said: “We at TNB feel it is our duty to bring a spark, a brightness to this celebration … Every festival is a chance for Malaysians to forge a closer relationship besides remembering the importance of friendship and unity.”

The online version of the commercial is three minutes long, detailing some of the mischief the children were up to before putting up the show.

Director Quek Shio Chuan, who also directed TNB’s Dugaan Raya Aida TV commercial for last year’s Hari Raya, is also the man behind this commercial. According to Quek, the siblings in the show are not unlike his own.

“I have one older brother and one younger sister. And my younger sister was the one who took the lead when we’re up to anything,” Quek said with a laugh. “I also used elements from my own childhood in the commercial when it came to props.”

The ad was filmed at Section 17, Petaling Jaya, for three days – sometimes well into the night – involving some 50 people in the cast and crew.

“I shot the online version and then cut it to 60 seconds for the TV commercial. It was hard, but crucial to put out something different for online and TV audiences.”

Wira added: “Producing a TV commercial is no easy task. But we want to give something back and bring cheer. We hope the commercial will rekindle the old memory and impress upon the younger generation of how we celebrated the festivity.”

After all, to quote the saying in the commercial, Chinese New Year becomes brighter when we are all in it together.