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Effective Ad Campaign: The Rice of Life

One way to measure an effective ad campaign is to ask one simple question: Will people want to watch your brand’s ads 5 years from now?

Chinese New Year is almost upon us. And each year, it makes me think of this effective ad campaign released back in 2012 for Bernas. Titled “Family Reunion Dinner,” this spot for the national rice supplier of Malaysia is still as appropriate today. Perhaps even more so.

The ad focuses on a father and a son’s relationship. We watch the son grow up and see how their relationship evolves – and how the dinner table brings them back together time and time again. Life snapshots include:

  • the son coming home late, running into his dad who is just waking up – and his dad kicking him out for staying out late
  • the son leaving home, moving into the real world and facing a life-changing event
  • the father’s guilt as he wonders if he is responsible for his son’s situation
  • the father helping his son overcome a terrible obstacle – hearkening back to when his boy was young

As we glimpse these defining family moments, we see that rice is more than a staple in the cupboard. It is part of this family’s life – from tragedy through triumph, which we also witness at the ad’s end. (You’ll have to watch it for yourself. It’s worth it.) If this extraordinarily effective ad campaign doesn’t elevate the rice brand, I don’t know what will!

Inspirational and emotional

These are the type of ads that drew me toward marketing and advertising in the first place. Being able to affect someone emotionally through a simple video. To get a reaction or even the slightest tear is remarkable. Ads like this embrace our humanity, providing something we all can relate to. No family is perfect, and if you’re like me, this brought a little tear to your eye. Spoiler alert: after you watch this, you’ll want to go run and hug your parents / children or other loved one.

An ad that can bring out the best in people is more than just an ad, its an influence. When brands achieve this, they become more than just brands – they become human in a sense, connecting with consumers emotionally. Showing us that behind the scenes they are just like us.

Bernas has created more than an effective ad campaign: they’ve created a family and brought us all together for dinner. Bernas: Bowls for humanity.


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