We have just concluded production work for ASICS Asian’s latest brand campaign LiveUplifted. This journey took us to five countries in South East Asia in the midst of the COVID pandemic, filming the best athletes this region had to offer.
In March 2022, ASICS Asia appointed us as the Creative Agency to develop their 2022 regional brand campaign. The brief was to create a brand campaign for digital platforms that features top-performing athletes from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam. Each representing a different genre of sport.
The ASICS client believed that the power of sport can uplift spirits, rejuvenate ones mood and and changes our outlook on the world for the better. With this new campaign, they hope to remind audiences that sport goes beyond just a competition- it can inspire and transform you.
On this basis, we created “The World Fades” campaign. We started by interviewing athletes from each of the countries involved, in the attempt to discover their personal stories behind how LiveUplifted as their mantra can influence their sporting performances and their outlook on life.
We shortlisted Aby Marano, Volleyball Captain of the Philippines national team, Triathlon Gold Medalist, Lam Quang Nhat from Vietnam, veteran marathoner Muhaizar Bin Mohamad from Malaysia, rising tennis star Kasidit Samrej from Thailand, and Chantalle Ng from Singapore.
After conceptualising and scripting, we began our month-long journey to each of these countries, in the midst of travel restrictions, COVID tests, and quarantines to shoot these 60s and 30s brand films.
"Southeast Asia has a unique heartbeat, the sounds of the hustle and the bustle and the busy rush hour crowds can be somewhat overwhelming, All these distractions and stress, fades away to just the sounds of running footsteps, a tennis ball being hit, a volleyball being smashed, an aero bike gliding pass or your heavy breathing because you let sport uplift you. This is the heart of what our films want to tell audiences”.
DanWee, Creative Director MillStirling AKA NoFinerlife.
Our first destination was Manila, Philippines, and the onset was plagued with challenges, from delaying our flight because due to last-minute changes in travel restrictions to not being allowed to to board the plane as they required a PCR test instead of an ART test. The late arrival meant we lost one precious day of filming, so what was 3 days of filming had to be condensed into two days.
On the day when we were to film Aby, the volleyball net we needed as a prop arrived two hours late! But Aby was a true professional, she followed the instructions of our director with the biggest smile and everything turned out the way we wanted, despite the early scares.
We next went to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia to film Muhaizar and the day began with a 3-hour drive up to the peak in the dead of night, arriving at 4am so we could catch the morning golden hour. It being the Muslim fasting month, only after Muhaizar ate his pre-fast meal did we begin shooting with the golden rays of sun creating spectacular silhouettes of the athlete.
Our Malaysia leg was not without adventure, as we were extorted by local gangsters who caught us taking drone shots above the many tea plantations of Cameron. They claim to be owners of the territory despite us having permits to take aerial drone footage. They went away with one thousand Malaysian ringgit of our money.
Our third leg took us to Bangkok, Thailand to film Kasidit Samrej. Thailand gave us the best B-roll of the whole trip such as the many motorcycles and tuk-tuks populating the bustling streets, the waste barges along the Chao Phraya River and roadside vendors selling local delicacies. Bangkok was buzzing and so was our athelete as he impressed in front of the camera with flawless serves and strokes.
Our final 2 locations were Vietnam and Singapore. In Vietnam, we shot on-location at Vung Tau, a three-hour drive south of Ho Chi Min city- a seaside vacation town that had some of the nicest beaches and coastal roads that Vietnam could offer. Some even call it a mini Rio De Janerio as it has a gigantic Jesus status on the top of a hill overlooking the city. Vung Tau was the perfect location to film our triathlete- Lam Quang Nhat, a two-time gold medalist.
And finally, in Singapore, our featured talent was Chantalle Ng, one of Singapore's rising acting stars. Although Chantelle is not a sporting star like the other talents, we felt it was important to show that our campaign message “Let sport uplift you” doesn't just apply to athletes. To live uplifted is a state of mind that should be embraced by not only professional athletes but by everyone, even if you’re just an amateur jogger that runs three times a week. Inculcating a philosophy of sport and movement in your life leads to a Sound Mind and Sound Body or so the people at ASICS believe. And after shooting this campaign, so do we.
In the coming month, ASICS Asia will roll out “THE WORLD FADES” campaign in all five countries on various digital platforms.
ASICS - THE WORLD FADES
Client : ASICS Asia Pacific
Creative agency : MillStirling / Nofinerlife
Creative Director : Dan Wee
Executive Producer : Dan Wee
Production house : Compass Asia
Director : Wira Satria
Assistant Director : Adil Amran
DOP : Ridwan Zukifli
Drone Operator : Amsyar Akbar
Senior Copywriter: Lim Chiao Woon
Sound Design : YellowBox studios