Ramadan is ending, brands have stopped promoting and people are excited to eat anytime they please again. Ramadan 2019 wasn’t as exciting as the years past, but we’re hoping that all the creative energy will show up at this year’s AFCON ad season.
For now, we take a look back at one of this year’s big campaigns. Ramadan 2019 is the year that photo-sharing platform Instagram launched their first ever Ramadan campaign and AR filter, launching #MonthOfGood to provide a place where people can share their celebrations and expressions of Ramadan’s pillars to encourage others to do acts of kindness during the holy month.
When the campaign launched, Samer Jamal, Strategic Partner Manager of Instagram MENA said,
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“Instagram is a diverse, global community and Ramdan is one of the biggest cultural moments celebrated on the platform. Our data shows that Ramadan is a time when people come to Instagram to share their moments of kindness and good deeds – with words associated with charity increasing significantly.”
“Kindness does not have to be a grand gesture. In fact, small and unexpected acts can have a huge impact on someone’s day. That’s why we’re delighted to launch #MonthOfGood and our first ever Ramadan camera effect, so that people on Instagram have a fun and creative way to express their good deeds and celebrations this Holy Month. We can’t wait to be inspired by the acts of kindness – big and small – shared by the Instagram community this Ramadan.”
As the holy months comes to an end, we spoke with Jamal to see how the campaign went.
1000+ Acts of Kindness for #MonthOfGood
The campaign’s hashtag has taken off, and within the month has already been used over 1400 times. From simple observances on religion to big acts of giveaways, the Month of Good movement is still growing in momentum and we’re hoping it’ll make a comeback next year.
The campaign has been encouraging a lot of good deeds, and that’s exactly what Instagram was after. When we asked Jamal how did the idea for #MonthOfGood come about, he told us that
“#MonthOfGood is inspired by the spirit of Ramadan and the kindness of the Instagram community.
We saw from Instagram data that there were over 15 million posts about Ramadan during the Holy Month in 2018. Interestingly, Ramadan is a time when people come to Instagram to share their moments of kindness and good deeds – with words associated with charity increasing significantly.
Last year in Egypt alone, posts containing the word ‘donate’ increased by a staggering 349% and those containing the word charity increased by 53%. This key insight shaped our overall strategy and we devised a campaign encouraging people to capture and celebrate everyday moments of kindness and inspire others to do the same.”
The words donate/donation and charity are huge during Ramadan on Instagram.
The company released several interesting 2018 insights on them, including in UAE, posts containing the words “donate” or “donation” increased by 97%, Kuwait posts containing the words “donate” or “donation” increased by 162%, and Saudi posts containing “donate” or “donation” increased by 35% and posts with the word “charity” increased by 21%.
When asked about how the campaign was going, Jamal said
“We are delighted with how well received the campaign has been, with over 1,000 acts of kindness shared across the platform to date. We have been really inspired by the good deeds performed, which include donating blood, planting trees, contributing food to Ramadan sharing fridges and volunteering at labour camps.
It’s also been great to see people get creative with their posts and how they use the Lantern camera effect. #MonthOfGood has really resonated with people and our hope is that it will motivate them to spread kindness beyond Ramadan.”
As with any social movement, Instagram’s campaign would not have been complete without a strong initial push from influencers.
“Our campaign strategy saw us work with a mix of well-known local Instagram creators and more traditional media.
To launch the campaign, we identified a number of the biggest creators across the region such as Manal Roston, Essa Al Ansari, Salem Alhajri, Ahmed Alzamel, Mohammed Alsahli, Fatima AL Kaabi, and Ola Farahat, who were given early access to the Camera Effect and briefed about the campaign.
They created Instagram Stories, Feed posts and IGTV content to raise awareness of the campaign and encourage their followers to spread kindness and goodwill,” said Jamal about the launch.
“We also made sure that media were engaged ahead of launch. Pre-briefings were conducted with key media in target markets before we announced the launch of the campaign. A press release, featuring key insights on Instagram usage during Ramadan, generated wide-spread media coverage in traditional media and on social platforms.
‘Kindness Kits’ with suggested acts of kindness were also distributed to media, content creators and stakeholders to inspire them to get involved in the movement and become advocates for the campaign.”
What can we learn from #MonthOfGood?
Instagram’s campaign comes at a time when many brands have moved away from the spirit of Ramadan in their advertising. It is another example of how a global brand can be just as or more culturally relevant than local brands.
We can learn from Instagram that a movement can be small in size and budget, but how it affects people can and will grow over time. A small hashtag and a well-selected small group of influencers is really all you need sometimes when you have a great message that people are searching for.
It is also a reminder that Instagram works well with simple movements, competitions/encouraging action and sharing messages.
What did you think of the campaign? Inspired or too simple? Let us know