For six Ramadans in a row, Banque Misr‘s campaigns—some of which won prestigious awards—were built around sending us earnest and emotional messages of motivation in beautifully crafted songs. It started back in 2017, the year Banque Misr decided to boast and proudly reconnect with its roots through the “Talaat Harb Is Making a Comeback” campaign.
This year, Ramadan 2022 saw Sherine Abdel-Wahab lead Banque Misr’s song “يا معافر” (which roughly translates to “O Perseverer”). In a country in crucial need of financial inclusion, the song’s visuals strive to include all kinds of Egyptians from different walks of life. Meanwhile, the lyrics invite them to persevere, continue their journey to its end, and fear no obstacles. Critics might accuse the brand of repetition in theme and meaning, but the advert was so successful, that it even outperformed some of Telecom’s adverts on some fronts, which is no ordinary feat.
They’re obviously playing a long game, and creating their own virality, as opposed to trying to become viral by hopping on other trends. We take a look at the history and numbers behind this accomplishment while pointing out insights and lessons you might have missed along the way.
Marketing Challenge: Drawing From a Rich History to Nourish the Present
As the triumphant Egyptian entrepreneur and renowned economist who established Banque Misr, Talaat Harb has become a symbol of successfully persevering against all odds to millions of Egyptians and remains one to this day. Establishing Banque Misr back in 1920, after getting the idea for it in 1907, was arguably his most remarkable accomplishment.
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Banque Misr was not only “the first Egyptian bank”. It was also owned by Egyptian shareholders, and even staffed by Egyptian nationals. Arabic was used in all of its communications, and hence it was a major step in establishing a national economic identity for Egypt back then.
Knowing this makes it clear that his story is apparently the engine behind what the brand has become today.
Symbolically reviving Talaat Harb, reminding us of his glorious accomplishments, and telling us that he is coming back within every Egyptian was Banque Misr‘s brilliant 2017 move and the beginning of six years of viral and beloved motivational jingles.
It also, most importantly, paved the way to re-introduce the brand as the bank for all Egyptians of all kinds and from all walks of life.
Marketing Approach: 6 Ramadans, 6 Unique Motivational Songs
For six Ramadans in a row, Banque Misr is utilizing jingles again to capitalize on the aforementioned glory and inspiration. And it’s still working quite well!
After all, jingles are quite a common advertising tactic—especially in the Egyptian market—if you’re looking to put out an advert that can live longer and get recalled more often in the minds of its viewers.
The goal this time is a bit special, however. It motivates people to persevere, while also making it clear that Banque Misr is a bank for all Egyptians, no matter who they are or what obstacles they might be facing—a move that should be applauded amidst a dire need for financial inclusion in Egypt.
Here’s a rundown of the brand’s jingles and their YouTube Views…
Talaat Harb Is Making a Comeback, Ramadan 2017
You Can, Ramadan 2018 (Campaign Won Google’s Lantern Award of 2018)
Banque Misr… Ibn Misr, Ramadan 2019
You’re the Original… You’re Exceptional, Ramadan 2020
I’m the Possible, Ramadan 2021 (Bank Won Bank of the Year Award of 2021)
O Perseverer, Ramadan 2022
In 2017, celebrity singers/songwriters weren’t utilized in the jingle, but even after the likes of Mahmoud EL-Esseily and Medhat Saleh were featured, the number of YouTube views increased substantially with every year!
Besides the song and the visuals, this suggests better social media handling, content creation, moderation, and traffic on the brand’s end during the previous six years.
So far, the most-watched version on YouTube is Sherine Abdel-Wahab’s يا معافر.
Using the Ramadan season as a tactical and strategic marketing opportunity to launch a mega campaign is clever. Additionally, reviving Talaat Harb as a symbol for persevering successfully against all odds was transformed by the bank into a beautiful annual Ramadan contribution by the brand that celebrates the Egyptian identity while motivating them. This year, it also focused on inclusivity and reached astounding numbers.