How Yuna could have been the face of “brand Malaysia”

YunaPETALING JAYA: Could Yuna have been the face to build the Malaysia brand overseas?

That is the opinion of a brand and marketing expert who related how the Malaysian singer could have given a boost to the image of the country.

Writing in Branding Asia, Marcus Osborne shared about how in 2012, a new department was set up under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to help in building up the “Malaysia brand”.

Speaking of the meetings he had with the head of the new department, Osborne said that “her understanding of what constitutes a nation brand was, to be quite frank, very different to ours and so we didn’t get involved”.

According to the Branding Asia report, in the course of the many meetings, ideas were suggested for moving forward with the “Malaysia brand” and one of it was to use Yuna as the face of any brand-building initiative.

Osborne said that with Yuna’s undoubted talent, she could easily have become an ambassador for brand Malaysia.

“She won’t build it on her own but she can make a considerable contribution to its success.”

The idea didn’t take off. Yuna though, later featured in some ad campaigns for Malaysia Airlines, but Osborne said the company did not know how to “extract the most out of Yuna as the potential game changer that she could be”.

It’s been four years since, and now Yuna’s career has grown in leaps and bounds.

She released her third album, Chapters, earlier this year, and soon achieved the amazing feat of being featured in Billboard’s Top 10 R&B Albums and Billboard’s Top 20 R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.

Her collaboration with American R&B star Usher, called Crush, was a best-selling single and got her a lot of attention in the US music industry.

Crush peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard charts in the Adult R&B Songs category.

Even Rolling Stone magazine placed Chapters, with Beyonce’s Lemonade and Rihanna’s Anti, as among the best R&B albums of the year.

Osborne believes that Yuna still has a chance to rescue the country’s “once iconic nation brand” if she is “used properly” to reflect a bright new face of Malaysia to the rest of the world.