Ramadan is a special month of the year for different industries in the Middle East, but especially the advertising industry experiences its peak during Ramadan. According to Ipsos 2017 research, 23% of TV ads are spent during the holy month. So, just like the US’s Super Bowl, Ramadan ad spots have traditionally presented an opportunity for advertisers and consumers to enjoy the most coveted advertising efforts of the year.
This month is also the time for families and friends to connect with each other, have an iftar and watch more videos and series. Consequently, YouTube viewership rises during Ramadan and weeks afterward, with viewers tuning in to YouTube to watch popular Ramadan ads.
This guide will explain the four pillars of creating a successful Ramadan ad, along with examples of Ramadan marketing campaigns that went viral.
The four pillars of a successful Ramadan ad
Promote Ramadan values
Devotion, being charitable, compassion, patience, humility and perseverance are some of Ramadan’s values. These values play an important role in the ads. It is important to reflect these values in your campaigns to fully engage with consumers. Family and friends gatherings are also hot topics for ads during this month since consumer behavior changes within the holy month of Ramadan. With 53% of conversations on Facebook going towards family-focused conversations, always remember to keep your tone appropriate for all ages.
Discussions of cooking and home care also rise during the holy month, with both men and women involved. Which gives you room to brainstorm and come up with ideas related to sharing duties and house chores, cooking together, and coming up with iftar and suhoor recipes.
Ramadan is both a spiritual and physical cleansing period for many, so it goes without saying, avoid any provocative or risqué imagery, no matter who your brand audience is.
During the past decade, so many brands have managed to embrace those values through their ads. One of these excellent Ramadan campaigns is Zain Kwait’s 2021 Ramadan ad. This ad tackles the issue of COVID-19 and its impact on society and the world. The ad is more like an awareness campaign, shedding a light on the invention of the vaccine, and how it’s important for you and specifically for your family.
These small gestures that matter when you make a Ramadan Campaign, make sure you spread awareness and be creative at the same time.
The above campaigns managed to hit the right spot through Ramadan-focused themes of sharing, and they’ve also managed to leave a deep impression among consumers.
Find a fresh angle
With the plethora of ads in Ramadan, your ad can be easily prone to get lost in the sea of sameness. In order to have a viral ad that would stand out, you’ll need to tackle new angles that haven’t been tapped before. As viewers respond better to quality over quantity, they’re more selective and focused.
A constant challenge for advertisers is creating content that builds personal connections, excites viewers, and goes viral. It would be very effective if brands start tackling age-old values and Ramadan stories from a fresh new angle. This will not only have a strong impact on the audience but would also strengthen the brand’s connection with consumers.
One of the brands that succeeded in showcasing real relationship stories that are strongly empathetic based on authentic insights is Coca-Cola. Their ‘Start with Coca-Cola and make the stranger closer’ ad in 2021, was a mix of emotion and awareness at the same time. where the ad delivers the message of tightening your relationships with people, especially the one whom we didn’t know before the COVID-19.
You can watch the full ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVVM8O-9D3I
Tell a story
The art of storytelling to connect through multi-part stories or web series is increasingly popular. Storytelling isn’t only for Ramadan-related themes; you can also create a storyline that includes an Eid message. So, use Ramadan as an opportunity to build an engaging story and Eid as a chance to polish your campaign with Eid-specific content that connects with people.
This was done successfully by Makeup Forever’s all-star Ramadan YouTube series that truly engaged audiences.
Form a connection with your brand
During Ramadan, rather than loading up your ads with information and concepts, have an ongoing conversation with your audience using short, concise messages.
These conversations will help you build a connection with your audience and plays on their emotions, positioning you as a brand that listens to them and cares about them.
When analyzing the top Ramadan ads across markets, we see that audiences connect most with ads that made them feel something and connected with them.
Whether the ad included your favorite artist performing or a catchy rhythm that stuck with you all Ramadan or a story with clever characters and clear messaging that resonates well with viewers.
For example, Vimto’s campaign invited people to write a customized message on a Vimto bottle on a YouTube masthead. Also, Alex Bank’s Ramadan campaign in 2019 featuring Mohamed Salah, narrating his story in a motivational ad that advocates working hard and grabbing the opportunities in front of you.
You can watch the ad here:
Ready to create your business’s Ramadan ad?
If brands are looking to effectively market their offerings, Ramadan is the perfect time to start creating ads. While some brands are tapping into this opportunity, do we see enough ad campaigns by brands breaking away from the clichés? Are they looking all-around at the cultural nuances of the season and building on a strong insight that will drive the story?
In order to create viral ads, brands need a well-rounded marketing strategy. This includes understanding their customers, coming up with a creative idea based on insights, and taking that idea through to completion. Last but not least don’t forget to assess your campaigns’ success so you can plan for the following Ramadan.