Ramadan 2019 is only 3 weeks away and brands and agencies alike are pulling all-nighters to finalize their Ramadan campaigns and strategies. Ramadan may be centuries upon centuries old, but the holy month is usually full of vibrant and fresh advertising from today’s creatives, and everyone is pushing hard to get through the clutter.
The countdown for the Arab world’s superbowl is on, and while everyone is getting excited for what the new marketing superbowl will bring, let’s take a look at who we’re looking forward to this year by taking a look back.
The Most Anticipated Campaigns of Ramadan 2019
Uber and Careem
We’re starting this list off with something that we’re more curious about than anything else. With Uber’s acquisition of Careem, the ride-hailing industry has become one and many are seeing the changes already.
Some frequent riders have noticed less promo codes and gradual increases in both apps’ pricing. Yet, what we haven’t seen are any real campaigns from these two tech companies since the acquisition.
Although Careem has been stated to maintain its independence as a brand, Uber’s hold over the company could mean that there won’t be much of a competition for this year’s Ramadan superbowl between these two. Plus, we’ll miss Careem’s playfulness on the ad stage.
Orange Vs Vodafone
While each year holds a lot of potential for the 4 telecom giants, and they are brands that many look forward to, this year is a little different.
Last year may have been WE’s first entry to the Arab superbowl, but the two we are looking most forward to are Vodafone and Orange.
Orange not only was one of the only brands to trend highly on Google Trends and YouTube, it ended the year by receiving their Golden Play Button Award after starting the year with approximately 400K subscribers. Their Ramadan ad on loving thy neighbor was quite the success, also becoming the first ad that year to reach 1M views.
An important note is that Orange is the official sponsor of the African Cup of Nations this year to be held in Egypt. This should put a lot of pressure on the telecom brand to perform better than its peers, as well as be able to handle any “hackers and hacking” that may happen during this year’s football season.
Otherwise, its competition is Vodafone, who was the only real brand to successfully merge both the Ramadan and World Cup Mania theme last year. Using their usual trope of copious amounts of celebrities in their Ramadan ads, Vodafone decided to grab not only their usual list of celebrities but also integrate some of the national team as well.
This created quite the surprising and interesting mix, making it one of the most versatile ads of the season. Vodafone also completed their push for WC by releasing various videos with fan favorite Mohamed Salah, including a gorgeous Ramadan WC transition ad.
How will these two do this year?
El Classico (Coca Cola vs Pepsi)
Coca Cola and Pepsi’s competition is nothing new, and is a worldwide phenomenon. Last year, the two hit it off with world cup mania as they heavily targeted local sport lovers.
Coca Cola went international as the WC’s sponsor, sending several Coca Cola regional/country singers to work with WC 2018 anthem artist Jason Derulo. Tamer Hosny stepped up for Coca Cola Egypt, creating this fun bilingual song.
Pepsi broke out of the clutter last year just as in 2017 with their usage of the native format. Ramadan 2018 saw Pepsi grab a large portion of the national team for its Ramadan ads as one of the national team’s main sponsors.
Mainly using Saad Samir as the main star of their Vlogging experience, the brand released several videos using the more personal style of filming. It was a great idea as local football fanatics that were unable to travel for the WC were able to feel just a little bit more intimate with the team that they wouldn’t be able to see live on the pitch.
As the two brands that many wait for during the Arab superbowl, it will be interesting to see what they can pull off this year or will they be using similar concepts from last year for this year’s AFCON?
For the past two Ramadans, Kuwaiti telecom Zain has become known and expected to provide some of the most thought provoking and influential ads during the holy month. For two years, the brand has released powerful and celebrated work that embodies many aspects of the cultural and religious holiday.
Last year’s ad used various world leader look-alikes as a child took viewers on a powerful journey about war and refugees. It was a courageous stand and choice to continue creating Ramadan ads on controversial topics, but one that has paid off the service provider.
We’re waiting, and hoping, for another tear-jerker and inspiring message for this year.
This local bank started its Talaat Harb campaign way back in 2017, but was met with average fanfare. However, last year’s powerful ballad changed that.
This simple lyrical musical ad was one of the most popular of the year. The ad was circulated on social media as a powerful pick-me up, inspirational message and as a well-executed creative. In a time when many of the country’s youth are feeling down, Banque Misr delivered this pick-me up at a well-timed moment.
How will the now 3-year campaign do this year? We’re excited to wait and see.
Carrier vs Midea
Since 2017, these two air-condition brands have been neck and neck, creating some of the most memorable ads for the last two Ramadans. Both using sarcastic and slapstick humor, the two ads are easily distinguishable from the clutter.
They might not be the most sophisticated or most well-shot, but they continue to be trendsetters in a saturated creative market that people simply love to watch, meme and share.
Will they be able to top each other once again? We’re looking forward to all the possible memes of this year.