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Y T I T INGgn N DEANaDmpai I IANN BRrint C S AYATIOurism P L MAH Nian To F G lays O U N RO n Ma O I T THudy i C I P se St E E D A Ca H T


Negaraku Tanah tumpahnya darahku Rakyat hidup Bersatu dan maju Rahmat bahagia Tuhan kurniakan Raja kita Selamat bertakhta


Acknowledgement Assalamualaikum w.b.t Praised upon The Creator, Allah s.w.t. for all the blessings that He has showered me all this while, for without Him, I am unable to finish this study. To my mom and my beloved family, thank you for your endless support. Seeing the smile on your faces is the greatest motivation that I could ever wish for. To all my friends, thank you for being there, through all my ups and downs all through this study. Thank you for lending me your ears and shoulders to me. Thank you all for the support, help and favor given throughout this study. To my supervisor, Dr. Azhar bin Abd Jamil, thank you for your guidance and patience throughout this study. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you and thank you. Without the support and favor given to me, this study will not be able to be completed. I dedicate this study to my pillar of strength, my niece and nephew, Aini Sakina and Noah Elias. Thank you.


Table of Content Abstract 8 Introduction 11 Literature Review 22 Analysis & Development 32 Testing & Evaluation 88 Discussion of Findings 92 Conclusion & Recommendation 128 References 134

Abstract A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them with intentions to uniquely identify goods or services and to differentiate them from those of competition. Nation branding, on the other hand, involves producing a unique identity for a particular nation. It also represents geographical, culture, traditions, language and politics by applying the common branding elements and marketing communication techniques in promoting the brand of its country. Malaysia is known for its diversity in culture due to its multiple races and its wealth in natural resources. This research is focus on Malaysia because Malaysia is one of the Southeast Asia key nations and the national identity or brand identity for Malaysia in tourism is not solid and strong. By studying the nation-branding guidelines and visual identity guidelines from


selected countries through visual analysis and semiotic analysis, the objective is to learn, identify and find the common branding elements, brand strategies and brand values that are commonly used and apply it to strategize a different direction for Malaysian Tourism as a unique brand of its own. Hence, strengthening the identity for Malaysian Tourism and provide the responsible sectors, specifically Media, Public Relations and Creative Sectors the latest branding framework and strategy to solidify branding on Malaysian Tourism.

Malaysia is a sight to behold. It is a nation situated in Southeast Asia in between Thailand and Singapore. The Malaysian land is divided into two different parts, West Malaysia or also known as Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, which located in the island of Borneo. With 329,758 km2, Malaysia is federation which consists of 13 states and 3 federal territories. Apart from the diversities of its culture and colorful histories, Malaysia also possesses numerous unique, exotic and authentic wonders of nature. With these assets that Malaysia has, citizens of the world are easily attracted to the beauty of Malaysia.


Introduction This section describes the background, structure and the scope of the study. It also provides the significant information in describing and defining the area of the study.

Malaysian Population 10


The word nation is defined as a large group of people with the same race and language, and country is the area of land that is occupied by a particular nation (Ying, 2005). Every nation rests on a base of their uniqueness, drives and individual history. Hence, the idea of considering a nation as a brand is not a farfetched idea because a brand is a ‘name’, term, symbol or design, or a combination of them with intentions to identify and differentiate the goods and services from those of competition (Kotler, 2003) with the purpose of creating communication with a consumer, and to inspire consistency and trust to consumer (Asli, Tasci & Kozak, 2008).

Nation-branding or destinationbranding in the tourism sector is increasing globally (Asli, Tasci & Kozak, 2008) as a way to promote a country as a destination not only for tourism, but also for inward investment, job creation and settlement (Ying, 2005). Nation-branding is also a process that concerns applying branding and marketing communications to promote a nation’s identity.

A nation’s identity is depicted as a whole, encompassing its culture, traditions, language and politic. In order to establish it, it must embrace the history, culture, and the sociological uniqueness possessed by a particular nation with intention to ease potential purchasers to buy into the location either as a tourist destination, place to invest or a source of desirable products and services (Hall, 2003).Therefore, the concept of nation-branding at its simplest is creating a selling proposition (Hall, 2003), to promote the country as the destination for tourism and to differentiate it from those of competition.

Every nation has their uniqueness, drives and individual history. This includes Malaysia, which is unique with regards to its diversity in its culture and Malaysia is a lucky country due to its richness in natural resources. Based on the preliminary observation done for this study, the identity that Malaysia projected in their current tourism print campaign is not solid. Therefore, this study focuses in identifying an identity and other possibilities (areas, approach or directions) for Malaysian Tourism to solidify and strengthen the Malaysian identity in the tourism sector.

All the examples of the Malaysian Tourism current print advertisements are taken at The Official Website for Malaysian Tourism. 14


From Figure 1, it can be concluded that from the increment percentage, the Malaysian tourism sector has a significant increment percentage annually, and by identifying and establishing the nation brand for Malaysia, the increment percentage with regards to the number of tourists that come to Malaysia and revenue from the tourism sector for Malaysia will be boosted.

By identifying and establishing an identity, particularly in Malaysian tourism sector, the tourism sector of Malaysia is able to provide a standard promotional materials, strategy and values to solidify Malaysian tourism as a brand on its own. And also to ease the Malaysian tourism sector to tap into other area, approach and directions.

This study will also provide the latest framework and guidelines that can be used in creating a solid brand identity for Malaysian tourism, because from the statistics provided by Tourism Malaysia, the numbers of tourists in Malaysia are increasing significantly since 1998 to 2010. 17

The aims and objectives of this study are: a) to identify and establish the common branding elements, brand strategies and brand values that are commonly used for nation-branding and b) to create and provide responsible sectors the latest branding framework and directions in promoting Malaysian tourism sector.

The hypotheses derived for this study are: a) Malaysians are not aware of the uniqueness that Malaysia have and b) promoting other areas that have not been tapped are prominently preferable by Malaysians.


This study will only focus only on studying Tourism Malaysia promotional print advertisements campaign, establishing and identity for Malaysian tourism sector and analyzing promotional advertisements from the Commonwealth country members. This study will not interfere with the Malaysian policies international and domestic relations endorsed by the government of Malaysia.

Literature Review This chapter describes and identifies the framework for this study from the data gathered from all current, similar research areas, and other legitimate secondary data.


In general, branding is being used to define goods or services and also to differentiate from those of competition (Kotler, 2003). Nation-branding can be synonymously understood as creating a visual identity for a nation. Hence, branding elements in nation-branding is one the important factors in establishing an identity for a nation.


It can be concluded that the common branding elements used are logo, color, typography and visual, which can be categorized into two categories, photography and supporting graphics.

Brand strategy, generally, can be defined by answering the question ‘what are you trying to promote?’, by which in nation-branding it can be generally defined by a unique subject matter that a nation is trying to promote in its tourism campaign in order to attract tourists to visit their country.

Therefore, a generalization can be made by looking at the common brand strategies being used are spirit of the place, spirit of the people, culture and also history.

Branding values can be understood as the tone of voice conveyed visually in the campaign.

Hence, it can be said that the typical or common brand personalities or brand values are friendly, romantic which can also be described as dreamy or colorful, authentic and relaxed.

Branding Elements From the review of literatures related to this study, general conclusion on the common brand elements that are used in nation-branding are logo, color, typography, photography and graphics. And the promotional strategies typically used are spirit of the people, spirit of the places, culture or history with a combination of either friendliness, romantic, authenticity or relaxed as the brand values.

Branding Strategies & Branding Values 28

This generalization will be used as the framework to analyze the print campaign, particularly print advertisements of available commonwealth country members to identify the frequencies of its application.

Analysis Analysis & Development This chapter describes the processes involved in creating the initial outcome of the study that will be used in testing and evaluation phase.

The analysis of print advertisements from selected Commonwealth country members, qualitative method will be used. Semiotic analysis has been chosen as the best instrument to be used to analyze the print advertisements is because, with regards to the definition of semiotic, which means the science of signs (Babbie, 2010), it can be applied and associated with the analysis of content. And in order to understand the meaning of a particular content, semiotic is the best instrument to be used because a specific framework or meaning can be linked together with the content to understand further of what the content is conveying. The framework for this semiotic analysis is taken from the generalization that has been made in Literature Review. And to study the quality of each print advertisement, 5-point Likert scale will be used for each of the framework for both the brand strategies and brand values.


The data collected from this semiotic analysis will be used as the framework and directions to create the initial new print advertisements to promote Malaysian tourism and these prototypes will then be tested during the second half of the research, by using quantitative method.

The analysis of the tourismbased print advertisements of selected Commonwealth country members is done. This analysis process is done based on the frameworks of branding elements, brand strategy and brand values that have been initially concluded in Literature Review.







From the analysis done, it can be generalized that majority of the tourism-based print advertisements from the selected Commonwealth country members are using Logo, Color Typography, Photography and Supporting Vector Graphics as the compulsary brand elements that are embedded in the advertisements.


From the analysis done, it can be concluded the brand strategy that is majorly used is Spirit of the Place, with the percentage of 92.3% and only 7.7% lowly used this strategy. The second strategy, Spirit of the People, 65.4% is lowly promoted in the advertisements. Only 19.4% uses this strategy in a highly manner and the remaining 15.4% moderately promoted their tourism industry through this strategy.

Only 7.7% uses culture as the strategy to promote their tourism, 15.4% moderately used this and majority of the countries, 76.9% of them rarely use culture to promote their tourism.


Only 11.5% of the countries use history as their brand strategy to promote their tourism sector and majority of the countries with the percentage of 88.5% barely used history to promote their tourism sector.

From the analysis of the advertisements as well, the brand value, friendly, is being used lowly with the percentage of 65.4%. 15.4% uses this value moderately and 19.4% uses friendly as their brand value to promote their tourism sector. As for the second brand value, romantic, only 7.8% uses this as its primary brand value. 15.4% moderately conveyed this value in the print advertisements and 80.7%, which is the majority, rarely convey romance in the print advertisements.


46.2% rarely convey the value of relaxed in its tourism print advertisements. 38.4% moderately convey this value and only 15.4% uses relaxed as the main brand value in promoting its tourism sector. Most of the countries with the percentage of 65.4% use authenticity as their brand value. 15.4% moderately use authenticity as their brand value while the rest, 19.4% did not use the authentic value in their tourism campaign.


Development As a conclusion from this analysis, most of the countries are using spirit of the place as the main strategy to promote the tourism sector. The second most common strategy being promoted is the spirit of the people for a particular country. The third most common strategy is history and the least strategy being used is culture. As for brand values, the most value being conveyed and used is authenticity, followed by friendliness and relaxed. And the value that is being conveyed the least is romance.

Four new tourism campaign series have been outlined as options to promote Malaysian tourism and also be used as the new advertisements for promoting Malaysian tourism in the later years. These campaign series are using the combination of all the brand strategy and values, from the typically used strategy and values to the strategy and values that are least used.


Campaign Series 1

Malaysia’s Natural Wonders

For campaign series 1, it has been outlined to promote the natural wonders of Malaysia. Malaysia is a country with numerous wonders of nature and thus, this series pays a tribute to Malaysia’s unique, exotic and authentic wonders of nature. With the strategy of promoting the spirit of the place through the use authenticity and romance as its values, this series covers 10 Malaysian natural wonders.


Campaign Series 2

Malaysia’s Iconic Landmarks

Campaign series 2 is inspired from historical landmarks and unique infrastructure that Malaysia has to offer. With the purpose of attracting tourists to witness Malaysia’s iconic landmarks, the researcher adapted the strategy of promoting the spirit of the people and history for this campaign. The brand value conveyed by the researcher for this campaign is authenticity. There are a total of 8 advertisements for this series


Campaign Series 3

Malaysia’s Religious Monuments Campaign Series 3 outlines the purpose of promoting Malaysia’s prominent uniqueness, the diversity of Malaysian culture and ethnics. In this series, religious monuments are used to convey the diversity in Malaysian culture. Adapting the strategy of promoting spirit of the people and culture, the researcher combines these strategies with authenticity and romance as the primary values in this series. A total of 11 advertisements are developed for this series.


Campaign Series 4

DID YOU KNOW? : Malaysia’s Facts & Figures

The last campaign, which is the fourth campaign is a teaser-based campaign to outline all the prominent and unique matters that Malaysia have. With the strategy of promoting the spirit of the place as well as the spirit of the people, the research has integrated the values of friendliness and relaxed for this series. A sum of 11 advertisements that covers various uniqueness of Malaysia has been developed for this series. This campaign has also been specifically named as “Did You Know? Malaysia’s Facts and Figures” campaign.


All the images for the development of these campaigns are taken originally from the Internet and all of them are under the license from Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution – Share Alike License which states that the researcher has the right to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the work for commercial use under the condition that the work must be acknowledged in a manner specified by the author or the licensor and the distribution of the new work must also be shared or distributed using the same license as the original work (Creative Commons). All of the campaign series will be used as the test data by the researcher during testing and evaluation phase to find the findings in order to create the new print advertisements campaign to promote Malaysian tourism.


After the development of the initial products is done, they will then be used as test subjects to discover and establish the findings to prove both the objectives and hypotheses of this study.

Testing & Evaluation This chapter describes the testing and evaluation phase of the study.

The test, will be using quantitative method via survey instrument. A questionnaire survey will be distributed to a total of 150 respondents. The target samplings, the respondents, are random Malaysians. The purpose of the questionnaire is to inquire the respondents their preferences on which matters or subjects that are preferably prominent to be promoted and also to ask the amendments that are needed in order to standardize the overall look and feel of the final outcome for this study. In this questionnaire, a total of 16 questions will be asked to respondents and this questionnaire is divided into two parts; 1) respondents’ demographics which consists of age, occupation and gender and 2) respondents’ preferences with regards to the look and feel of the print advertisements. All of the questions are close-ended questions and will be distributed randomly through the conventional method of questionnaire distribution, in other words, face to face distribution.


Apart from distributing the questionnaire manually, or face to face survey, online questionnaire distribution via social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter will also be used, to speed up the gathering of 150 respondents in order to meet the dateline of the study period.

In Design & Development, the initial outcomes for this study have been established, designed and created. There are four initial campaign series that have been created for testing to discover the findings and outcome in order to create a new set of print advertisements for creating a campaign to promote Malaysian tourism. The testing of the product will be done by using quantitative method through survey instrument. The test has been done and a total of 150 respondents participated in the test via conventional method or face to face distribution and online distribution of questions. The analysis of the test results are discussed in this chapter.

Discussion of Findings This chapter describes the analysis of data from the test done and the findings and discussions relevant to the study.



Respondents’ Demographics 80 respondents or 53.3% of the respondents are male respondents and the remaining 70 respondents or 46.7% of the respondents are female respondents. Majority of the respondents (130 respondents or 86.7%) are at the age of 20-29. Meanwhile, only 17 respondents (11.3%) are aged from 30 to 39 and only 3 respondents (2%) are younger than 20 years old. Most of the respondents (63 respondents, 42.3%) are working in a private sector. 50 of the respondents (33.6%) are students. 16 respondents (10.7%) are working in education sector, 13 or 8.7% respondents are in government sector and only 7 or 4.7% of the respondents are self-employed.

It can be generalized that a sum of 11 print advertisements are chosen in all four campaign series. And the distributions are three print advertisements in campaign series 1 by 21% respondents, three print advertisements in campaign series 2 are chosen by 26.7% of the respondents.


Another three print advertisements are chosen in campaign series 3 by 26.7% respondents as well and only 26% of the respondents chose a total of two print advertisements in campaign series 4.





Logo of Choice Most of the respondents (61 respondents, 40.7%) chose Logo number 2 (Asli Malaysia) as the main logo for the campaign. Followed by Logo 4 (25.5%, 38 respondents), Logo 1 (18.1%, 27 respondents) and Logo 3 (15.4%, 23 respondents). And majority (53 respondents, 35.8%) of the respondents prefer bottom right to be the area to place the logo. On the other hand, 43 respondents or 29.1% prefer the logo to be on the top right of the advertisement. 30 respondents (20.3%) prefer the logo to be placed on the bottom left of the advertisement and 14.9% (22 respondents) prefer the logo to be on the top left of the advertisement. 112

Layout of Choice Layout 3 has been picked by majority of respondents (82 respondents, 55%). Followed by Layout 1 (26 respondents, 17.4%), Layout 2 (19 respondents, 12.8%) and Layout 5 (8 respondents, 5.4%). Both Layout 4 and Layout 6 are the least selected with the same number of respondents (7 respondents, 4.7%).

Layout Arrangement

Placement of Map In Table 6.12, a total of 86 respondents (57.7%) agree on the necessity of putting a map in the advertisements. 33 respondents (22.1%) disagree on the necessity of map and the remaining 30 respondents (20.1%) are not sure on the necessity of map in the advertisements.

48 respondents (32.7%) have chosen top left as the area for the title. This is followed by center (37 respondents, 25.2%), top right (33 respondents, 22.4%), bottom right (18 respondents, 12.2%), bottom left (9 respondents, 6.1%) and others (2 respondents, 1.4%). And 43 respondents (28.7%) prefer bottom right area as the area for tagline. This is followed by bottom left (37 respondents, 24.7%), center (20%, 30 respondents), top right (13.3%, 20 respondents), top left (12.7%, 19 respondents) and other area (1 respondent, 0.7%).

Copywriting 112 respondents (Agree – 60 respondents, 40.3%, Strongly Agree – 52 respondents, 34.9%) agree that the caption is a necessity in the advertisement and 10 respondents disagree (Disagree – 2 respondents, 1.3%, Strongly Disagree – 8 respondents, 5.4%) that caption text is a necessity to be put in the advertisement. The remaining 27 respondents (18.1%) are not sure on the necessity of the caption text in the advertisement.

Respondents’ Awareness The sum of 138 respondents (92%) are aware on the places/ matters promoted in the campaign series advertisements and only 4 respondents (2.6%) are not aware of the places/ matters promoted in the campaign series advertisements. The remaining 8 respondents (5.3%) respondents are not sure on the existence of the places/matters promoted.

A total of 95 respondents (Agree – 64 respondents, 43.8%, Strongly Agree – 31 respondents, 21.2%) agree that caption texts in the advertisements are to be standardized.


Only 28 respondents (Disagree – 10.3%, 15 respondents, Strongly Disagree – 8.9%, 13 respondents) disagree on the standardization of caption text in the advertisements. The remaining 23 respondents (15.8%) are not sure on the matter of standardizing the caption text.


Discussion As mentioned in Introduction, the objectives of this study are: • To identify and establish the common branding elements that are being used in the nation-branding or destination-branding • To identify and establish brand strategies and brand values that are typically used for nationbranding and destination branding • To create and provide the responsible sectors the latest branding framework and directions in promoting Malaysian tourism sector For the first objective of this study, it can be concluded that after the analysis of the tourism-based print advertisements by selected Commonwealth country members, the common branding elements that are being used are logo, color, typography, and visuals which can be categorized as photography and supporting vector graphics. Therefore, the new Malaysian tourism print campaign will be using all the five branding elements in branding Malaysia for the purpose of promoting the Malaysian tourism. 120


And for the second objective, the brand strategies that are typically used are spirit of the people, spirit of the place, culture and history. And the new Malaysian tourism print campaign will be using the combination of these strategies in distributed campaign series.

And as for the common brand values being used, they are ‘authenticity’, ‘friendliness’, ‘relaxed’ and ‘romantic’. From this study, it can be concluded that the new Malaysian tourism print campaign will be using all the four values and they are being distributed in four miniseries in the overall campaign. 122


The hypotheses for this research are as follows: • Malaysians are not aware of the unique treasures that Malaysia have • Promoting Malaysia’s other areas that have not been tapped are prominently preferable by Malaysians.

The current strategy being used to promote Malaysian tourism is promoting the spirit of the place that Malaysia has. But during the development of the initial products, different strategies are used in order to find out the Malaysian preferences. The outcome is that, Malaysians prefer a different strategy as compared to promoting only spirit of the place. Malaysians prefer that our spirit of the people, culture and history to be promoted more instead of spirit of the place. Therefore the assumption made in the second hypothesis is true and the recommendation in promoting Malaysian tourism will be mentioned in Conclusion and Recommendation.


The first hypothesis, it is proven that it is a null hypothesis because from the test being done, 92% from respondents are aware of the unique places/treasures that Malaysia has and therefore, the hypothesis of assuming that Malaysians are unaware of its uniqueness is not true.


The new Malaysian tourism print campaign will be using logo, color typography, photography, and supporting graphics as its brand elements, ‘spirit of the people’, ‘spirit of the place’, ‘culture’ and ‘history’ as its brand strategies and ‘friendliness’, ‘authenticity’, ‘relaxed’ and ‘romantic’ as it brand values.

Conclusion & Recommendation This chapter states the conclusion of the study as well as providing recommendation for future researcher to improve this study or use this study as a benchmark for future related study.

Conclusion From this study, generalizations can be made that the common branding tools or elements being used in nation-branding with regards to the tourism sector are logo, color, typography, photographic images and supporting graphics. With a combination of promoting the spirit of the people, spirit of the place culture and history of a particular nation as brand strategies through the brand values of friendliness, romance, relaxed and authenticity.


As for the depiction of the Malaysian identity through nationbranding with regards to the Malaysian tourism sector, this study, has established and created a new tourism campaign that can be used as an initial framework as well as guidelines for further development and improvement in the depiction of the Malaysian identity in the tourism sector or in any sector, nonetheless with the purpose of boosting the income or revenue obtained in the tourism sector.

The general descriptions of this new tourism campaign for Malaysia are as follows: • This new tourism campaign will be named as the ASLI Malaysia Campaign and all the elements of branding with regards to nation-branding is being used in this campaign • This campaign will use the strategies to promote the spirit of the people, spirit of the place, culture and history as its brand strategy and it will be distributed with regards to its appropriate series of advertisements • This campaign will used the values or tones that convey friendliness, romance, relaxed and authenticity as the core brand values which will be distributed with regards to its appropriate series of advertisements. The detailed and further description of the new Malaysian tourism campaign that has been developed based on the findings in this research can be referred in the next chapter.


Recommendation As mentioned in the Conclusion section, this study will be able to provide future researchers the initial framework that can be used as reference to further strengthens the identity of Malaysia as a brand in destination-branding. This study will also provide the initial direction of promoting Malaysian tourism sector to the world which can also be used as a milestone to be referred to in order to establish a new direction of promotion of Malaysian identity in Malaysian tourism sector to further boost and enhance the income of the sector in the future. This research is limited in terms of the funding and time to proceed indepth in understanding the Malaysian identity and establishing new and unique directions that can be referred to in creating the a wholesome campaign that can be used to boost the tourism sec-


tor and also establishing a brand for Malaysia in destination marketing. But alas, this study can be referred, read through and used as the initial framework and guidelines to understand the concept of nation-branding for Malaysian tourism in solidifying the Malaysian identity in destination-branding as well as identifying and establishing new and unique directions of promoting Malaysia to the world as one of the unique, exotic and authentic destination with regards to the tourismbased industry.

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