Ramadan, the holy month in Islam, is an important time for all Muslims around the world. It is also an important month for businesses of all kinds, from advertising to media companies, who switch gears in order to market themselves in the tradition of Ramadan. Each year, a lot of effort and creativity is put into advertising plans that aim to target customers with a Ramadan twist.
While Ramadan drama series are expected to attract the majority of attention during the holy month, advertisements are often of equal interest to the public. PSAs are streamed constantly across television screens. This year, soft drink companies have chosen to postpone their commercials, letting other industries present their own campaigns first.
Telecommunication companies unveiled their long-awaited campaigns quickly and with much fanfare. Vodafone was the first to air an ad that is arguably the most expensive in its category this season. The star-studded 60-second ad features nine A-list celebrities.
From Leila Alwei to Ahmed El-Sakka, Dura Zarrouk, Hakiem, Menna Shalaby, Mahmoud El-Essaily, Isaad Youness, Ashraf Abd El-Bakky and Sherien, the campaign features an unprecedented combination of local artists.
Though the campaign’s main goal was to highlight the importance of family, revive the iconic musical The Big Night, and stress on seasonal morals, the public has seemed to focus more on the company’s budget.
Social media users did not embrace the ad, nor did they appreciate its strategic message. Instead, many tried to guess how much each celebrity was paid for the ad, while others ridiculed the actors’ wardrobe choices, as well as the dialogue.
Etisalat also launched its campaign on the first night of Ramadan. Though this commercial does not include any celebrities, it portrays a very exclusive lifestyle that once again backfired on social media platforms.
The 30-second ad showcases a group of young men and women on various summer adventures in ritzy resorts and compounds. Social media followers commented on the inappropriate nature of the commercial, as it did not represent the masses, or the brand itself.
Additionally, the company created another ad that focuses on the Euro football championship. This commercial highlights the incredible milestones achieved by football players Mohamed Salah and Mohamed El-Neny, who play for Italian club Roma and English club Arsenal, respectively. The ad salutes the two athletes and encourages the younger generation to follow their lead.
Finally, Orange celebrated its very first Ramadan with two different campaigns. The first one features an underground band singing about Orange’s new seasonal packages, which are divided based on Iftar and Sohour timings.
The second commercial features well-known football player Zein El-Dein Zeidan, with a plot that focuses on football, rather than Ramadan.
The ad highlights the current Euro championship as Zeidan and his intern roam the world searching for the best fans. The campaign’s main goal is to highlight the fact that Orange will be choosing a few lucky football fanatics who will have the opportunity to attend one of the matches. Before being bought out by Orange, the company was known as Mobinil, one of Egypt’s first local service providers.