In a month of rigorous fasting through long summer days, the disruption of normal life rhythms offers new perspectives. People aim to review their spiritual well being and reset their life compasses towards positive objectives.
In the advertising realm, Ramadan has become largely superficial. Every ad is adorned with the usual clichés — Ramadan lanterns, crescent moons, and tents — while headlines shout out the cheapest deals. Consumers have been hardwired into thinking that Ramadan is the month to look for bargains. In fact, most people hold off major purchase decisions until Ramadan. Ramadan offers a very easy but mind-numbing formula that marketers reproduce, year after year.
Yet Ramadan actually holds great potential as an opportunity for advertisers to reflect and realign brands with a broader purpose, one that can positively impact people’s lives and enable a brand to play a bigger role. We can unite the intensified consumer desire with the higher meaning of the month to enhance the best of what it means to be human — as a consumer and as an advertiser. Brands have the power to change the world for the better. And this is the time to do it. We need to ask ourselves – how can we increase our brand’s self and social awareness during Ramadan to deliver value against a higher order?
Let me share two examples of campaigns that are set to disrupt the stereotypical Ramadan formula and enhance brand awareness.
Let’s start with Kiri, a brand that has always celebrated a mother’s everyday devotion to her family. This year for Ramadan, Kiri will be launching its #BetterWhenShared campaign to celebrate the effort that all mothers make to ensure that every Iftar is a special one. Often times, mothers cook more than generous quantities of food for Iftar. As part of the #BetterWhenShared campaign, food donation boxes provided by Kiri will be placed at convenient locations throughout the Emirate so that extra food can be donated and enjoyed by those less fortunate. In this way, a mother can not only show her devotion to her own family, but also increase her spiritual joy by sharing the food she has prepared with others. This goes to the very heart of the local culture of sharing, and Kiri facilitates and enhances the spirit of generosity during Ramadan by partnering with mothers in a way that is intuitive and seamless.
Another example is the launch of Samsung’s new app, designed especially for children. During Ramadan, children are home on vacation from school and it is too hot to play outside. As a result, children end up spending a lot of time on their digital tablets. They often become so immersed with playing games on the tablet that they end up with the screen too close to their eyes. Samsung’s child-friendly app uses facial recognition to calculate the optimal distance for children to hold the screen. The app instructs the child to move back if he or she gets too close. This app not only protects young eyes, but also helps busy parents manage their children’s viewing habits.
These two examples illustrate the approach that brands can take to capture the unique spirit of Ramadan, and translate the magic of the Holy Month to reset brand intentions and to exponentially elevate brand purpose without using a crescent moon or lantern.