KUALA LUMPUR: You've cheered for them and like many Malaysians, shed tears of joy at their remarkable sporting achievements.
And now, two of Malaysia's Paralympic gold medallists, Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli and Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi, are set to receive another accolade - albeit of a different kind.
The two sporting heroes will become the new face of evaporated and condensed milk brand Dairy Champ's advertising campaign, marking a historic first for any Malaysian Paralympian. As for Dairy Champ, it is also THE FIRST condensed / evaporated creamer brand to have ever selected the Paralympians as brand ambassadors, atop Dato’ David Arumugam and Dato’ Seri Vida. Who would have thought?
The Malaysian heroes are following in the footsteps of Alleycats frontman Dato’ David Arumugam and flamboyant cosmetics magnate Dato’ Seri Vida, whose unique ads via Dairy Champ's 'Mesti-Lah' campaign had tickled the funny bones of Malaysians.
Muhammad Ziyad, 27, is no longer a stranger to Malaysians, with his superhuman feats at the Paralympics Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last year.
Diagnosed with an intellectual impairment since pre-school, Ziyad had worked as a koay teow seller in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman before bursting into the scene at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where he won the bronze medal in the shot put.
Apart from being known as national heroes, Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli (right) and Mohamad Ridzuan will be immortalised in the new star-studded 'Dairy Champ, Mesti-Lah' advertising campaign as brand ambassadors.
After success in the 2013 World Championship and 2014 Asian Para Games, his crowning glory came at last year's Rio Paralympics, where he sensationally smashed the world record and grabbed the Men's F20 event gold medal.
His compatriot Mohamad Ridzuan, 29, had also captured the hearts and minds of Malaysians with his epic achievement at the Rio Paralympic Games. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy since he was a year-old, he made history at the Games by winning the 100-metre T36 event, making him the first Malaysian athlete to bag gold in Rio.
A subsequent video of Ridzuan in tears at being congratulated by his coach R. Jeganathan subsequently went viral and made him an instant hero in the eyes of Malaysians.
And now, apart from being known as national heroes, the duo will be immortalised in the new star-studded 'Dairy Champ, Mesti-Lah' advertising campaign as brand ambassadors.
Mohamad Ridzuan will be seen making a foamy cup of teh tarik using Dairy Champ's Tarik Lebih Buih Sweetened Creamer, which will feature Dato’ David Arumugam due to his trademark afro hairdo that tops off the head of the awesome foam on the teh tarik.
Muhammad Ziyad, meanwhile, will craft a bowl of ais kacang, topped with ‘crowning smoothness’ made out of Dairy Champ Evaporated Creamer, featuring Dato’ Seri Vida due to her vibrant pink getup as the ‘crowning glory’ on that bowl of ais kacang.
Santharuban T. Sundaram, Vice President of Marketing at Etika Sdn Bhd, said the selection of the Paralympic heroes represented the brand's energy and philosophy.
"They are inspiring and resilient individuals who have gone on to successfully redefine the art of winning, seamlessly blending with the brand ethos and synergies that Dairy Champ stands for," he said.
"Despite being put through a lot of challenges and probably given a lot less opportunities than any of us, their perseverance and hard work has brought them where they are today – true champions, and that’s really inspiring. With them as Dairy Champ’s brand ambassadors, we hope to encourage more Malaysians to push their limits and to step out of their comfort zones”, he added.
Here’s a preview of the TV commercial which will be broadcasted on TV officially only tomorrow. Thereafter, Malaysians will soon see more of the campaign starring the Paralympic heroes in retail outlets, print advertising, online and more.
Dairy Champ Tarik Lebih Buih Sweetened Creamer and Dairy Champ Evaporated Creamer are now available at all major retail outlets alongside other variants.
For more information on Dairy Champ, visit http://www.etikaholdings.com/our-brands#DairyChamp