A Recap On Ramadan Ads That Caught Our Eye
The holy month of Ramadan was bestowed upon us like it is each year and ended with the celebratory occasion of Eid. While Ramadan is the month of blessings, it is also the month of massive consumerism, which sees an increase in the purchase of ordinary goods as well as spending on seasonal brands. It is also the most popolar month for charity and the overall atmosphere of goodwill is big. Brands bandwagon on messages of kindness and virtue. The majority of the Muslim popolation fast during the month, and office timings are shortened which allows the working popolation to return home and seat themselves in front of their television sets earlier than usual. This is an important factor for businesses who can take advantage of the more time people have to watch TV as well as spend on their phones.
In a country like Pakistan where food is entertainment and an integral part of our colture, the month of Ramadan is a huge opportunity for effective marketing. We at PAS took on the task of finding Ramadan ads that were shown to the audience in the past month and here are some ads we studied through our advertising lens:
- Surf Excel: Surf Excel’s tagline of “daag toh achay hote hain” (stains are good) has been their message for the past ten years now and has made them stand out in the detergent market. Every year, the public looks forward to what Surf Excel has to offer for their Ramadan campaign, which usually centers around a kid doing some sort of good deed which leads to his clothes getting stained. The team behind Surf Excel also come up with inventive hashtags to push their ads into the digital space. This year’s hashtag was #eesarekibadat- which means empathy is also a sort of worship. The cast is warm looking and illicit emotions properly. Surf Excel stuck to their concept of a small child doing a ‘big’ deed. The symbolism of childhood innocence and the kindness displayed by a kid inspires grownups who can definitely learn more about being there for others. Did this ad manage to tug at your heartstrings?
Rooh Afza: Rooh Afza, a seasonal product, is the drink of Ramadan. There is strong brand recall as people instantly associate Ramadan with Rooh Afza and vice versa. Traditionally, Rooh Afza has always been associated with Pakistan as the drink of the nation. There is always a sense of patriotism associated with the drink and we feel that it was in this spirt that this ad was created. Rooh Afza embraced the concept of unity and friendship during Ramadan. In the ad, Hamdard reminded the audience of its history and origins. Hamdard originally came from India and then moved to Pakistan when Pakistan became independent, which too was during the fasting month. The ad highlighted patriotism by showcasing green Pakistani flags being hung on the streets. Compared to Hamdard’s previous Ramadan ads, they made an effort to move towards emotions as seen with other brands. Did this ad manage to make you appreciate your colture of togetherness?
OPPO: OPPO came out with their Ramadan/Eid ad as well for their product OPPO F11 Pro- which like other OPPO phones is popolar for its camera feature. The ad showcased a family where the daughter brings in a foreigner friend to her Pakistani home. There were obvious coltural elements in the ad like henna, a lot of lights around the neighborhood and playing night cricket. This particolar Ramadan ad focused more on the enjoyment of the month compared to other ads that center around goodness as discussed in the above advertisements. It may have been specifically targeted at consumers watching ‘Suno Chanda’ (Presented by OPPO) on HUM during Ramadan rather than general consumers. Was it smart to include actors of the same show? And was OPPO’s ad a breath of fresh air among the stream of emotional ads?
Brookeband Supreme: Brookeband Supreme’s ad was one of the first to focus on adolts rather than kids. It was a reminder from a brand that grownup can still be good too. The ad focused on the story of two people in the community, a chai wala with a corner tea shop and a middle aged man who is respected in the community. The ad described any good deed in the holy month as a sadqa. The ad ends with two men from obvious different economic and social classes uniting together after breaking their fast. The ad highlighted the concept of sharing and caring about others, although it was a long watch.
- Sunridge Chakki Atta: Sundridge’s ad #BarhengeSaath concentrates on the aspect of sharing with the less privileged. It is commonly known that in a Muslim household, you first owe charity to those who live with you, such as your domestic staff who help around the house and work tirelessly in heat. The ad emphasized the class differences that exist within one house and how the luxuries of one make another missing out on them feel. It also showed the audience how to eliminate those differences by being kind. Compared to Sunridge’s previous ads that are product focused, it was new that they played with emotions. Did Sunridge make progress with this ad?
- Dettol: Dettol’s One Bottle Challenge in association with the campaign ‘Hoga Saaf Pakistan’ made an advert which asks people to take over their mosques the following Ramadan to clean it with a bottle of Dettol. It emphasizes Salah and how doing Wuddu is already linked to hygiene and washing hands. The ad was product oriented but motivational at the same time, similar to their PSA which also came out in Ramadan featuring Fahad Mustafa and highlighting the 6 steps of handwashing.
- Telenor: Telenor has been running their campaign of Share a Meal for the past couple of years and we believe it has been so because of their sustained success and positive consumer engagement. The concept of sharing a photograph of the plate and donating food in return is not only innovative but effective as well. However, could the ad have been executed better to get the message across well with a strong call to action? For example, showing an individual actually taking a photograph of their food and how that directly benefits another person make their Iftar better; showcasing two classes in Pakistan which have an enormous difference in wealth. What do you think?
Overall, while some brands impressed by continuing to be creative and others did not fully utilize their potential, the ads were similar. The music usage was identical to others, and without visuals, there would be no brand recall to which song belongs to which ad. It’s not only necessary to build a link between your product and the holy month but to also focus on a key message that positions the brand correctly. It’s important to consider that during the holiest month of the year, competition is high and emotions run high too. No matter what time of the year though, consumers will always respond to quality over quantity, so it’s pointless to spend on airtime for a long ad that is uninspiring and plotless. Share with us your thoughts on which ad was your favourite!
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Communication Executive at PAS
Annum is the debut author of her book "Sense Me" and has experience working in an agency as well as a communication expert in house.