Nostalgic Advertisements in Multicultural Malaysia: A Multimodal Analysis (Iklan Nostalgia dalam Pelbagai Budaya Malaysia: Satu Analisis Multimodal)

Melissa Shamini Periasamy, Ganakumaran Subramaniam, Paul Gruba



Advertisements that feature nostalgia as a theme have been highly successful in their ability to evoke an emotional reaction in consumers thus connecting them to the brand and product being advertised. Nostalgic advertisements are memorable as they prompt consumers to draw from their own past experiences in a positive manner therefore creating a "feel good" factor in consumers. Nostalgia has been a popular theme in many Malaysian television commercials (TVCs) in the past decade. This study examines a Malaysian national day TVC using a thematic multimodal approach to analyse how nostalgia is reinforced through the multimodal elements in the TVC. The analysis includes a discussion of the types of nostalgia elicited by the multimodal elements in the TVC in reference to the socio-cultural context of multicultural Malaysia. The findings reveal how specific multimodal elements in the TVC are used to evoke a sense of collective nostalgia among Malaysians of diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. This study shows that personal, collective, historical or national nostalgia is reinforced in a Malaysian national day TVC by making references to dates, events, images, relationships and values that are significant and meaningful to all Malaysians regardless of ethnicity, religion or belief. Such advertisements serve to transcend ethnic and religious boundaries to create a national mindset that the whole nation can connect with instead of communal or ethnic based ones. 


Keywords: Nostalgia; television commercial; multimodal; Malaysia; multicultural.




Iklan-iklan bertema nostalgia didapati sangat efektif di kalangan penonton kerana dapat membangkitkan rasa emosi penonton yang kemudiannya dikaitkan dengan produk yang diiklankan. Iklan yang membangkitkan nostalgia sukar dilupakan oleh penonton kerana ia menyebabkan penonton mengimbas kembali pengalaman manis zaman lepas mereka dan seterusnya mewujudkan perasaan yang positif dihati penonton. Nostalgia merupakan tema yang semakin popular dalam iklan-iklan televisyen di Malaysia. Kajian ini menggunakan pendekatan analisis multimodal bertema untuk mengkaji cara-cara nostalgia diperkukuh melalui elemen multimodal dalam satu iklan televisyen (TV) Hari Kebangsaan di Malaysia. Analisis ini merangkumi perbincangan tema nostalgia dengan merujuk kepada jenis nostalgia yang dicungkil oleh element multimodal dalam konteks sosio-budaya pelbagai budaya Malaysia. Kajian ini mendedahkan elemen-elemen multimodal dalam iklan TV yang memainkan peranan dalam membangkitkan rasa nostalgia kolektif di kalangan rakyat Malaysia dari pelbagai latar belakang sosio-budaya. Kajian ini turut menunjukkan bahawa nostalgia peribadi, kolektif, sejarah/nasional diperkukuh dalam iklan TV Hari Kebangsaan Malaysia dengan membuat rujukan kepada tarikh, peristiwa, gambar, hubungan insan dan nilai-nilai yang penting dan bermakna kepada semua rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengambil kira faktor etnik, agama atau kepercayaan. Didapati bahawa iklan TV bertema nostalgia yang dikaji berusaha merentasi sempadan etnik dan agama untuk mewujudkan pemikiran kolektif dan semangat kenegaraan di kalangan rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum.


Katakunci: Nostalgia; iklan televisyen; multimodal; Malaysia; pelbagai budaya

Full Text:



Bambauer-Sachse, S., & Gierl, H. 2009. Effects of nostalgic advertising through emotions and the intensity of the evoked mental images. Advances in Consumer Research - North American Conference Proceedings 36: 391-398.

Bohn, A. 2007. Nostalgia of the media/ in the media. In Self Reference in the Media edited by Noth, W. & Bishara, N., 143-154. Berlin: Walter de Gryuter.

Burton, G. 2005. Media and Society: Critical Perspectives. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Chan, C. 2015. The currency of historicity in Hong Kong: Deconstructing nostalgia

through soy milk. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44(4): 145-175.

Dass, M. 2009. Keep the spirit of Merdeka alive, Opinion Letter, The Star. 7 August 2009.

Havlena, W. J., & Holak, S. L. 1991. "The Good Old Days": Observations on nostalgia and its role in consumer behavior. Advances in Consumer Research 18(1): 323-329.

Holden, T. J. M. 1997. The colour of meaning: The significance of black and white in television commercials. Interdisciplinary Information Sciences 3(2): 125-146.

Holden, T. J. M. 2001. The Malaysian dilemma: Advertising's catalytic and cataclysmic role in social development. Media, Culture & Society 23 (3):275-297

Holden, T. J. M., & Azrina, H. 2002. Moral Advertising: Messages of development and control in Malaysian television commercials. In Global Goes Local: Popular Culture in Asia edited by T.J.K. Craig., 138-159. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Zuraidi Ishak & Mohamad Md Yusoff. 1991. Advertising and development in Malaysia: A content analysis of interracial relationships in magazine advertising. Paper presented at the AMIC Seminar-Workshop on Using Entertainment and Advertising for Development Communication Singapore: Asian Mass Communication Research & Information Centre, January 21-24, Singapore.

Kellisson, C. 2006. Producing for TV and Video. A Real-World Approach. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Kugan, J. 2014. 5 Most Memorable Merdeka commercials. Lifestyle. The Star. 30 August.

Marchiegani, C. & Phau, I. 2013. Personal and historical nostalgia- A comparison of common emotions. Journal of Global Marketing 26 (3):137-146.

Merchant,A., Latour, K., Ford, J.B. & Latour, M.S. 2013. How strong is the pull of the

past? Measuring personal nostalgia evoked by advertising. Journal of Advertising Research 53 (2):150-165.

Mohammad Hafeez Mohammad Jowsey, Chong Chin Wei & Muhammad Sabbir Rahman. 2015. Determinants in nostalgia sensitivity in nostalgic driven advertising. International Journal of Academic Research in Psychology 2(1): 11-35.

Muehling, D.D., & Pascal, V.J. 2011. An empirical investigation of the differential effects of personal, historical and non-nostalgic advertising on consumer responses. Journal of Advertising, 40(2):107-122.

Muehling, D. D., & Sprott, D. E. 2004. The power of reflection. An empirical examination of nostalgia advertising effects. Journal of Advertising 33(3): 25-35.

Periasamy, M. S. 2014. Interpretations of a Malaysian television commercial: A multimodal analysis. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Melbourne.

Periasamy, M.S, Gruba, P. Subramaniam, G. 2015. A multimodal literary analysis of a television commercial. 3L; Language, Linguistics and Literature, The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies 21(3):51-164.

Routledge, C. 2016. Nostalgia. A Psychological Resource. New York: Routledge.

Rozita Abdullah. 2011. Contested meaning of ethnic advertising in Malaysia. Paper presented at The Second Asian Conference on Media & Mass Communications, 4-6 November, 2011, Osaka.

Waller, D., & Fam, K. S. 2000. Cultural values and advertising in Malaysia: View from the industry. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics 12(1): 3-16.

Williamson, J. 2002. Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London: Boyars.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN: 0126-5008

eISSN: 0126-8694