Seylan Bank PLC

One Melody. One Belief. One Heart.

Agency: Shift Integrated


For the 76th National Day of Sri Lanka, Seylan Bank created and released an instrumental version of the Sri Lankan National Anthem. What made this version special is that for the first time in history, this instrumental version incorporated the different musical instruments from the two main ethnic groups in the country (i.e. Sinhalese and Tamil), to create a musical fusion.

“We wanted to continue building on the theme of national unity and ethnic harmony, which we had been communicating from the brand on National Day, for what would be the 4th consecutive year. Last year, we challenged the status quo on National Day, by encouraging a group of Sinhala speaking children to sing the Tamil version of the National anthem and vice versa – which was considered to be a ‘brave’ initiative by a brand. This year we wanted to once again, do something different, memorable and something which would encourage the positive convergence of communities – driven by the Bank with a Heart,” said Asiri Abhayaratne, Assistant General Manager/Head of Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank.

Sri Lankan society is multi-ethnic in nature – consisting of Sinhalese (74.9%), Sri Lankan Tamils (11.1%), Sri Lankan Moors, (9.3%), Indian Tamils (4.1%), and smaller minorities include the Veddas (indigenous people), Malays, Burghers. Ethnic tensions between the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the largely Hindu Tamil minority had long simmered, which worsened after the former colonial ruler Britain quit in 1948. And led to a three-decade long civil war which ended in 2009. Post conflict reconciliation efforts have not been completely successful.

The gravity of this is better understood by looking at the controversies surrounding the National Anthem. Sri Lanka has the National Anthem in two languages – Sinhala and Tamil. Since 2010, the Tamil version of the National Anthem has been “banned”. It was briefly allowed between 2015 and 2019, to being once again decided that it will only be sung in Sinhala. The change in leadership in 2022, resulted in the Tamil version being sung again in 2023 and 2024.

“During formal functions and events, the National Anthem is mostly played as an instrumental version. When it is being played, does every Sri Lankan feel like they are represented in it? Does every Sri Lankan feel like the National Anthem represents them? This is what the creative idea wanted to explore. Furthermore, by creating an instrumental version using the diverse musical instruments from the different cultural groups, we wanted to drive the message that you can still come together as one nation, even if you cannot understand each other’s language. Because music is a language that speaks to all communities,” added Sandun Lakmal, Group Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at Shift Integrated.

This professional campaign titled 'One Melody. One Belief. One Heart.' was published in Sri Lanka in February, 2024. It was created for the brand: Seylan Bank PLC, by ad agency: Shift Integrated. This Digital and Film media campaign is related to the Finance industry and contains 3 media assets. It was submitted 2 months ago.


Client: Seylan Bank
Advertising Agency: Shift Integrated

Chief Executive Officer: Selonica Perumal
Chief Creative Officer: Sandun Lakmal
Chief Strategy Officer: Ikram Mohideen
Senior Brand Manager: Dilukshi Simon
Brand Executive: Sandeep Perera
Creative Director: Naveen Amarasuriya
Associate Creative Director: WD Chamath Maduranga
Senior Copywriter: Isuru Abeysekara
Manager Production, Procurement & IT: Lakshan Dharmarathna
Agency Producer: Gimhani Idam Mudalige

Video Production: Cherry Isle Productions
Director: Sandun Lakmal
Executive Producers: Mehnaz Ilhamdeen & Mahinda Perera
Director of Photography: Vishwajith Karunarathne

Audio Production: RedFox
Music Director: Pasan Liyanage
Audio Recordist: Lucky Lakmina Agalawatte
Additional instruments and programming: Rihan Fernando & Isuru Perera

All percussion recording artist: Vadya Nipun Isuru Perera
Nathaswaram: T. Vimalraj
Flute: Nipun Tharusha Athapaththu


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