Malaysia “A Minute of Silence” Mobile Campaign

If you’re Malaysian, 2014 has been a seriously challenging year. With the MH370 tragedy occurring in early March, and the devastating MH17 crash occurring in mid-July, the entire country has been in a state of shock and mourning. It seems like exactly the kind of topic that most agencies would shy away from focusing on, yet on National Mourning Day in Malaysia on August 22nd, the government hired and agency to do exactly the opposite.

A Minute Of Silence

The concept of a minute of silence has been attached to grief and tragedy for decades, and it is somewhat synonymous with it all over the world. A simple idea, it asks the public to take just one minute out of their day to reflect in silence on the events, and their consequences. The McCANNA Minute of Silence‘ works on this idea with a mobile campaign, that allows users to take one minute to grieve and remember. Users need only visit the campaign’s mobile website, turn on airplane mode, disconnect, and wait for that minute to be up.

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Why It Doesn’t Sit Right

This idea of a ‘minute of silence’ has become even more poignant in the modern world, where connection is instantaneous, and our lives are generally very loud. But there are some things about the Minute of Silence campaign that we just don’t like. Mostly it has to do with the sharing of an individual’s involvement experience. Yes, users may indeed want to share their minute of silence, but the concept that sharing is the logical next step following a reflective minute seems at odds with the concept behind the campaign.

McCANN Kuala Lumpur talks about slowing the digital chatter, yet they seem to be encouraging more of it. The concept is a little hypocritical, and it seems out of sync with their request for people to take a moment, and remember the lives lost in these tragedies.

Why We Like It

Even though the Minute of Silence campaign has a few cracks, the concept itself is sound. Sponsored by the government, the nationwide minute where users disconnected from the online world to really come to grips with the current events in the physical world isn’t just relevant, it’s poignant as well. With the country’s national airline at the centre of it all, Malaysians as a group are certainly feeling the sadness, and the pressure from a world looking for answers. The Minute of Silence campaign gives users a chance to just remember that, beyond the politics and the unanswered questions, lives were lost and they deserve to be memorialized.


The McCANN Minute of Silence campaign wasn’t exactly a roaring success. The Minute of Silence counter ticked over 50,000, but that isn’t saying much in a population of 30 million. There was attention on a global scale, but like many online campaigns it was a blip on the radar, unheard in many corners of the world. Certainly, the concept of the campaign was sound, and it did well to encourage everyday users to take a moment and reflect, but there were just too much cognitive dissonance for it to really make an impact.