After weeks of teasing this year’s finalists, Google has finally released the winner of the Google Lantern Awards 2019. Maybelline New York was announced yesterday morning as this year’s winner, beating out several major regional telecoms, and another makeup brand.
This is the first beauty brand to win the award which aims to recognize powerful advertising campaigns by MENA’s advertisers, creative and media agencies during Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr. This is also the first year that the internet company has released the list ranked, previously opting for an out-of-order approach after announcing the winner.
At the end of the article, we’ll quickly discuss what should marketers understand and learn from the final list.
Google Lantern Award 2019 Winner Maybelline New York’s Makyaj wa Banat, Ramadan Edition
Maybelline’s Makyaj wa Banat is actually a 3-year running web series launched by the brand’s GCC team in 2016. It is this year’s Ramadan special edition, hosted by popular ME YouTube Creator and Beauty Vlogger Noor Stars, that won the award.
The Ramadan edition featured 8 other popular Arab beauty content creators, uploading five-to-ten-minute-long YouTube videos. The goal was to share the latest beauty trends, tips and make-up tutorials in edutainment style on YouTube.
“The beauty of Maybelline NY Middle East winning The Lantern is that they created a content series that proved extremely powerful in connecting with people. They leveraged the success of an established platform, ‘Makyaj Wa Banat’, and created a ‘show within a show’ giving it a proper Ramadan angle (Ramadan with Noor Stars). It’s not a one-off-only successful in Ramadan-type of content. It’s a brand leveraging data and acting as a proper publisher, thus managing to win people’s love in a period where so many brands are trying to steal the show” stated Alex Brunori, Creative Lead at Google MENA.
The Ramadan edition garnered more than 44 years of ‘watch time’ and a total of 6.4M views (64% were viewed organically). This in addition to continuous audience engagement with over 254K comments across all episodes combined.
Creative agency: Ykone
Media agency: UM MENA
2. A Very Pink Iftar by Benefit Cosmetics
It’s the year of Beauty and Cosmetics this Ramadan on YouTube as Benefit Cosmetics takes second place in this year’s Google Lantern Award.
The series includes discussions between YouTube creators on topics such as FAQs for individual creators to serious topics such as “what is a perfect body.” However, it is its first episode that wins the award, A Very Pink Iftar, which is jam-packed with several regional beauty Vloggers and a giveaway competition.
Google stated that “Its length of over 9 minutes highlights how product can be seamlessly integrated with entertainment.”
Creative agency: Diwanee
3. Tata Motors
According to Google, “The message of Tata Motors’ 2019 Ramadan ad is one that captures the spirit of the Holy Month. The finalist takes the form of a short film, focusing on the breaking down of religious and racial barriers, and the goodness associated with giving.”
The ad features several children, from various cultural backgrounds, as they saved money to help a beloved bus driver make his way home for the season. The ad starts out very lighthearted but ends with a moving speech.
Creative agency: Ogilvy
Media agency: Wavemaker
4. Banque Misr’s Son of Egypt
Banque Misr returns to the award list for the 2nd time with its nationalistic musical ad.
The bank provides another helping of last year’s signature graphics, beautiful panoramic shots and inspirational lyrics which lands it at number 4.
Creative agency: AB and Partners
Media agency: Wavemaker
5. Zain Kuwait
Zain Kuwait is one of the season’s most anticipated ads as they continue to impress by taking bold stands against intolerance while promoting classic Ramadan values. This year’s topic landed on faith, and the power of faith to separate and bring people together.
Creative agency: Joy productions
Media agency: OMD Kuwait
6. Etisalat Egypt with Mohamed Ramadan and Jean-Claude Van Damme
Although Etisalat had a slow start compared to its competitors this season, it stayed on the charts and on-top of mind for longer.
According to Google, “The star power of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Mohamed Ramadan, combined with the catchiness of a song and dance number, and high-quality special effects, ensured that this advertisement pulled in over 104 million views by close of submissions. “
Creative agency: FP7
Media agency: Starcom
7. Orange Egypt with Nancy Ajram and Tamer Hosney
One of the more extensive campaigns on the list, Orange Egypt’s “Far2 Kebeer” not only hosted just 2 celebrities for its bright cheerful song but also moved forward with a tactical engagement strategy that was followed by a full CSR campaign.
Google stated that the “advertisement logged over 23 million views and an organic viewership nearly 20% higher than this year’s submission average.”
Creative agency: Leo Burnett
Media agency: UM Cairo
8. VIVA Kuwait’s Ramadan with the Karkasha family
This fun mish-mash family reunion for Ramadan was laughable and relatable in many ways.
Google wrote “Viva Telecoms invites you to celebrate Ramadan with the Karkasha family[, and take a] glimpse into the lifestyle and habits of this family in a very musical format. There was a sense of continuity in this multi-part story that also had music and embraced a family theme popular during Ramadan.”
Creative agency: Doors production
Media agency: Starcom
9. Zain Returns for EID
Zain Telecom returns to the list with their EID ad, which focuses on the whirlwind adventure many go through as they travel to meet family across country.
Creative agency: Joy Productions
Media agency: OMD Kuwait
10. Gargee’an with Mobily
Google wrote “this advertisement by Mobily captures the traditional values of family and community that are so closely associated with Ramadan. The trend that they played on was the music that heavily featured in an ad celebrating gargee’an, the local Halloween-style celebration that occurs pre-Ramadan. Naturally, children also play a big role in it. The infectious nature of their singing and dancing is what drew its organic viewership to exceed the average of Lantern submissions.”
Creative agency: 8ies
Media agency Initiative
Ramadan 2019 Marketing Lessons
There a few lessons that can be taken from this year’s list, but we have to also remember that the Lantern Awards is a YouTube based celebration of the most creative and engaging Ramadan video content, so it’s pretty much all about engagement.
Long-running series continue to dominate on both Google Lantern Awards and online in general. Maybelline and Benefit Cosmetics, as well as last year’s winners Toyota/Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, show us that relatable edutainment video series are one of the best routes to engage consumers during Ramadan. It should also give brands and agencies this small tip; it can also be applied off-season for long-running brand engagement.
Related ➤ The Top 10 Ads on YouTube Egypt of 2018
Long Form content is still powerful, but its power explodes during Ramadan. Google has stated that the “top 10 Ramadan Leaderboard shows that, on average, ad length in 2019 was 25% longer than average ad length on the top 10 ads in 2018. During Ramadan, Maybelline New York’s videos were 8 to 11 minutes long, giving the brand ample time to share stories with an engaged audience.”
Brands need to warm up to content marketing with long-form and customer-journey oriented content in order to efficiently capture audiences from start to end.
Campaigns need to go beyond the single ad, as shown by the long-running series on the lists and even Orange Egypt’s Ramadan ad that evolved into a CSR campaign. Look further down the road, and not just on the region’s favorite season.