Emotional Chinese New Year ad from Singtel sees ‘CNY absconders’ mend their ways

Singtel has launched ‘From ma, with love’, its film for Chinese New Year. The latest commercial continues its tradition of emotional family-centred narratives around festive occasions. The CNY film like the Christmas ad from last year has been conceptualised and produced in-house in collaboration with Akanga Film Asia and filmmaker K Rajagopal.

We are officially counting down to Chinese New Year. We celebrate the occasion with a short film about 3 Singaporean undergrads who rediscover the importance of family and tradition.

Posted by Singtel on Tuesday, 1 January 2019

‘From ma, with love’ is about three young Singaporean flatmates who, on returning to Melbourne Australia, congratulate themselves on being ‘CNY absconders’. They are thrilled at having avoided some of the traditions and obligations associated with the festival like “chores”, “hanging ugly decorations” and “endless eating”.  

The mood of the film changes when, amid jars full of sweets, shawls and clothes that have been packed away by their parents, they find a letter written by the mother of one of the flatmates.

The mother reminisces about New Years past, when her daughter had more enthusiasm for the festival (and didn’t mind overeating), acknowledges that her child is now grown up and has different priorities. According to Singtel: “Through a montage of letter writing, baking and other expressions of care, we become privy to a parent’s hopes and wishes for her child even as she herself comes to terms with the prospect of an empty nest.”

Suitably chastened, the CNY absconders immediately call home

Speaking about the film, Singtel’s VP of group strategic communications and brand Lian Pek said: “Sometimes we get so caught up in the preparations for Chinese New Year, that we miss the forest for the trees. Beneath all the festive ritual and fuss, the new year is ultimately about family, shared histories and new beginnings.

“As the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar, this is also a time of renewal and reflection and we hope this film will touch your heart and make you smile.”


Director: K. Rajagopal

Producer: Fran Borgia


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