With Ramadan just around the corner, brands and marketers are actively working towards attracting audiences. As with every Ramadan, there is a set group of elite brands who have somehow continued to provide audiences with fun and engaging content during the holy month.
These five companies have continued to be the brands that most of the country anticipate and wait for, the brands that have yet to fully amaze us year after year. These brands are the ones to watch for this Ramadan.
Coca Cola Vs. Pepsi
The on-going feud between Coca Cola and Pepsi continues this year as they prepare advertisements to beat each other as the “Ramadan Soda.” For many years, Coca Cola and Pepsi have continued a long war over winning over the Egyptian public, with dozens of campaigns and ads throughout Ramadan advertising peak.
Last year, both beverage waited each other out to see what the other had in store for the holy month. In the end, audiences had to wait until mid-Ramadan to finally get a glimpse of their ads.
Coca Cola released what seemed to be a continuation of its 2015 campaign, in which they announced that they would save ad spending by not promoting on TV and provide to 100 villages instead.
Pepsi released an ad on the possibilities and further uses of Pepsi bottles through recycling, in which the bottles were used to provide light to underprivileged locations as part of a charity movement.
The two ads were well-received, but were not of the same caliber that most are used to when it comes to the world’s two largest soda beverage manufacturers. Many are hoping that they’ll up their advertising ideas and give us a proper soda battle this year.
Vodafone is known as the biggest telecommunications company in Egypt, and is a favorite when it comes to its advertising. Vodafone has consistently created some memorable advertisements for Ramadan over the years, none more famous than last year’s “The Big Family.”
The Big Family was received with huge applause and engagement, reaching over 1 million views in just 5 hours. The ad, which contained star power such as Ahmed El Sakka, Sherif Monier, Menna Shalaby, Hakim, Ashraf Abdelbaky, Samir Ghanem, Mahmoud El Esseily, Sherine Abdel Wahab and more, was well received by many Egyptians and it was placed on an international list, created by Unruly, Vodafone was placed as number 4 for 2016’s list.
Earlier this year, Pepsi and Vodafone announced yet again that they would be working together. Could they be planning something together for this Ramadan? Or will their relationship be dropped for the duration of the holy month?
Etisalat has been a strong contender for the green brand when it comes to competing with the red competitor “Vodafone” during Ramadan for the best ads. The telecommunications company has been battling it out with the “red giant” for years, both for consumers and in advertising.
The usually smart advertiser received critical reviews last year as its first ad for its campaign “Imagine Tomorrow,” it was criticized for not providing any Ramadan spirit. The ad was released only a few days before the start of last year’s holy month. Even with receiving mixed or negative reviews, the ad went on to be one of the finalists on Google’s The Lantern Awards.
The next ad, which included Egyptian football sensation Mohamed El-Neny, was better received but continued to be missing any real correlation to any of the common themes of Ramadan.
Many are hoping that Etisalat will improve their advertising strategy and ideas for this year’s annual competition. Last year was Vodafone’s year, but could green beat red this year?
For the last 3 years, the CSR initiative created by two of Unilever’s leading subsidiaries, Lipton tea and Knorr, has continued to push forward with its campaign to educate the public about food waste during the holy month and how to be charitable rather than wasteful with it.
The campaign, which works with the Egyptian Food Bank, has had a steady growth over the years. The campaign itself has expanded and matured through the 3 years, accumulating to last year’s massive success. Last year’s campaign saw car service provider Uber and popular community leader Cairo Runners partnering with Kamel Karamak.
If the continued steady growth of the campaign manages to continue to this year, Kamel Karamak will surely introduce its charitable concept to larger audiences along with inspiring other organizations and companies to take notes.
Orange, which re-branded Mobinil, has yet to really come to stage as a main “to watch” during Ramadan. Their first Ramadan outing did do quite well, also becoming a finalist on Google’s Lantern awards, but they have not established themselves well in Egypt’s advertising just yet.
Mobinil was one of the top advertisers during Ramadan and perhaps Orange has simply not figured out how to bring that to the newly launched brand. For now, it would seem that this telecommunications company is an underdog for this year’s Ramadan advertising race.
Currently, Orange’s advertising throughout the year has yet to produce a significant buzz. Will Orange finally bring the ad power Mobinil used to have this Ramadan? Or was last year’s “Shoot the Cannon” a one-time shot at fame? We’re keeping an eye on you for sure, Orange.
The dairy product producer’s set of ads last year were heavily criticized that one the ads was taken off the air by the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) for being inappropriate.
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Even with the negative feedback by the authorities, the ad and its subsequent ads went on to be one of the year’s most popular Ramadan ads. The company recently came out with a nostalgic and moving Mother’s Day ad, and perhaps they may come out with another buzz worthy advertisement for this year’s Ramadan.
These chocolate hooligans might be back at it again for this Ramadan. The company has made a name for itself for being one of the most fun and engaging newsjackers in the MENA region. Would they use their powers of sarcasm and newsjack some Ramadan advertisements this year? Only time will tell.
Last year’s Mandolin ad received much praise for its witty script, great casting and fun comedic timing. It was so well received that it became one of the finalists for the Lantern awards, along with Etisalat’s “Imagine Tomorrow.” It might be a long shot, but the company may come out with another great ad if it continues last year’s vision.