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Ramadan campaigns 2018 reviewed: Hit or Miss? – Part 2

In part 1 of our article series, we explored consumer behavior and opinions of  Ramadan ad campaigns, as well as 3 campaigns released during the holy month.

Now, we will look at another 4 and assess how successful they were.


Although the brand’s Ramadan activities are fairly spread out across digital, video, retail, experiential and PR, the central theme is #SayShukran this Ramadan / #قول_شكراً في رمضان.

“In extending this sentiment, we know the power of gratitude via a simple ‘thank you’ can enrich lives. Localizing this to our region, the word ‘Shukran’ has the ability to motivate, create goodwill, make peace, and solidify love and commitment. Ramadan is a time to say Shukran to those that care for you and for all that you have,” says a spokesperson.

Evident from the hashtag, the campaign puts digital at the core.

The brand even created a Facebook Messenger bot for the holy month to create deeper engagement with the target audience. “Given our call to action involves people sharing intimate and heartfelt stories about their loved ones, we wanted to ensure we treat this engagement in a more meaningful and respectful manner, which the bot allows for. It also gives us the opportunity to create tailored content, resulting in a better experience for participants in the campaign,” explains the spokesperson.

Additionally, those using the hashtag on social media stood a chance to win the new P20 Pro smartphone.

Keeping in line with the gratitudinal spirit of Ramadan, the campaign was Huawei’s way of thanking its customers in the MEA region for an overall market share of over 15% while also encouraging audiences to stop for a moment in their busy lives and thank each other.

H+K Strategies worked on the strategy development and campaign execution while NDigitec managed the production.

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Vimto is known as a Ramadan drink in the region and so, unsurprisingly, it ranked the highest among the top advertisers in terms of audience’s reaction to its Ramadan advertising. It sold over 25 million bottles last year according to a report by Gulf News.

“Vimto is a delicious and refreshing thirst quenching iftar ritual associated with providing a rewarding boost, soothing the body after a day of fasting. It grew to become Ramadan’s symbol of ‘sweet togetherness’ … characterized by its symbolic deep color and the Vimto cloud created when it infuses with water, which is prepared and shared, not just opened,”  Rasha Sakr, marketing manager of Vimto told Gulf News.

Vimto’s ad made it a high scorer across almost all of Sapience’s brand rankings. It scored high on the likeability scale with a score of 7.7 and audiences found it to be the most reflective of the Ramadan spirit with a score of 8.9 – the highest among its peers. It was also found to be highly relevant with a score of 8.2.

In addition to the above film, this year, the brand returned to Snapchat with its “Light Rope” representing the connection between people. The idea was brought to life through a Lens and a Filter. Both creatives were accompanied by Vimto’s well-known jingle. The brand also created one of the region’s first branded content offering shot specifically for Snapchat by using the Vimto Light Rope as the focus for seven 10 second videos which were amplified through Snap Ads. The campaign reached 8 million unique users, the Filter was viewed 80 million times and users played with the Lens for an average of 32 seconds.

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Zain Kuwait dropped this bold ad on May 16 opening itself up to tons of praise – and criticism.

The almost four-minute long spot features an Arab kid wishing Ramadan Kareem while also pleading for help as he addresses world leaders including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.

The ad is being applauded for its bravery while also being criticized for its political nature. MBC even banned the ad from appearing across its channels. Last year, too, Zain’s Ramadan video featured an anti-terror message by pop singer pop singer Hussain Al Jassmi. Again, while it was applauded for being bold, it was also criticized for being political and insensitive by featuring a young boy in a bus with a striking resemblance to Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy whose photo became famous following the strike in Aleppo. Zain KSA, on the other hand, took a more subtle approach by remembering those who have fought in the army and are no longer with us to celebrate the month of Ramadan.

While Zain’s ads have been criticized by many, Sapience’s rankings show that they are more loved than criticized. Zain ranks the second highest – behind Vimto – in the overall brand ranking for Ramadan ads with exceptionally high rankings for reflecting the Ramadan spirit (No. 2), relevance (No. 1), uniqueness (No. 1) and clarity of message (No. 1).

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Unilever’s Lifebuoy launched a series of seven-second videos for Ramadan. Explaining the rationale behind linking hygiene to Ramadan, Asad Rahman, media director, Unilever MENA, says, “Ramadan this year has coincided with that time of year when children are more susceptible to falling ill due to seasonal change. This is a contributor to heightened anxiety levels amongst GCC mothers, due to added responsibilities for Ramadan.”

The team identified key themes and topics based on Internet searches before and during Ramadan creating 19 bumpers for the campaign.

“Specific channels or media platforms were chosen with the objective of optimizing for maximum reach whilst creating the most conducive platform for Lifebuoy to join in on the biggest conversations online,” adds Rahman. These include Twitter for pre-rolls and trending hashtags; YouTube for bumper ads served prior to Ramadan appropriate tracking to ensure most effective assets are served on priority; and Facebook posts to engage in popular conversations with relevance in real-time, he adds.

Stay tuned for parts 3 and 4, where we explore Ramadan campaigns of big names like McDonald’s, BMW and Majid Al Futtaim. 

(This article originally appeared on our sister site Communicate)

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