KLANG VALLEY, MALAYSIA – When there is a holiday feast, chances are, there is food left over and wasted. Which begs the question, who are you really feeding with all that excess food? Non-profit organization Zero Waste Malaysia spotlighted the truth behind food wastage during the festivity in a recent film. A satirical spot, in collaboration with creative agency Dentsu Creative Malaysia, features an outrageous Christmas spread that’s designed for unexpected guests: rats, cockroaches, worms, and maggots. The true diners of food scraps and waste, with remains, left on streets or in landfills.
Tasha Sabapathy, marketing communications executive at Zero Waste Malaysia explained, “Food Waste is so apparent in Malaysia, we are a foodie nation but that love for food doesn’t cover minimizing waste. Not everyone sees the direct impact of food waste, especially during festive seasons. Food going in the bin doesn’t go away peacefully but emits harmful gases which contribute to pollution. We were excited to hear Dentsu’s idea of raising awareness this Christmas season in a creative storytelling manner.”
It has been reported an average of 17,000 tons of food waste is produced in Malaysia every single day, with this number increasing by 15-20% during festive seasons. This campaign is part of their mission to build a waste-free and sustainable future.
The film’s backdrop is a miniature living space that plays with scale to contrast whimsical joy with the massive, ugly problem of food waste. Construction of the set was also no small feat, with over 70 hours put into the crafting of the props and other fine details. But despite the long hours and effort, the team has stated that it was all worth it, as they truly believed they could make a big impact with this tiny Christmas dinner.
“When we stumbled upon the insight that the holiday has a not-so-merry side, we got goosebumps. It was crucial for us to capture that twisted side of the holiday by juxtaposing the soft Christmas aesthetics with pests that typically feast on people’s binned food,” Abby Tai, associate creative director of Dentsu Creative Malaysia explained.
Jin Soon, senior copywriter added, “We were also mindful to reduce waste during the making of this film. We used some of our personal belongings, old boxes, and clothes and turned them into décor and props for the house.”
Every piece and detail, from the furniture, carpet, photo frames, tissue box, and even the set is handcrafted with recycled materials.
“It’s a stark contrast to the usual yuletide message we see and hear. As it is Zero Waste Malaysia’s very first brand campaign endeavor, we deliberately wanted the film to trigger a reaction, create conversation, and ensure that their effort does not go unnoticed,” said Alicia Hew, creative director of Dentsu Creative Malaysia.
Beyond the film, the campaign extends to its social pages with content around how we can put zero-waste living into practice during the holidays.
Zero Waste Malaysia believes that individual actions contribute to making a real difference. By adopting a zero-waste lifestyle, taking it one step at a time, we can collectively build a greener and more sustainable future for the country, with every small effort a significant one.
Brand: Zero Waste Malaysia
Agency: Dentsu Creative Malaysia
Group CEO: Tan Kien Eng
CEO: Kunal Roy
Creative Directors: Abby Tai & Alicia Hew
Copywriters: Firdaus Kamaluddin, Yong Jin Soon, Annemarie Rayan & Joanna Chen
Art Directors: Rubynee Ravindran, Chelsea Lim & Kuan Zin Ven
Production House: Content Symphony
Producer: Ng Wai Kin