It’s finally here, Ramadan has started and so has the festivities we all expect throughout Ramadan. The lanterns are swinging in the wind, with bright lights covering dozens of buildings and the sounds of plates as Iftar goes into full swing.
The Arab Superbowl has also started, with Ramadan being the biggest marketing and advertising season of the year for the MENA region. Dozens of brands across the region have eagerly released their ads on the very first day of the holy month, while many more continue to wait out the first day’s storm of giant ads.
Here is our recap for this year’s 1st day of Ramadan.
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Vodafone is easily one of the most eagerly anticipated advertising campaigns of the year, and has been for the last few years.
The brand continues to put its best foot forward with its annual celebrity powered Ramadan anthem, with this year marking itself as the first brand to come out with a mixed campaign for both Ramadan and the World Cup.
In just 7 hours, the ad has already almost reached 1 million views, with 959k views and 21k shares at the time of writing.
The first ad to break 1 million in 5 hours this year, Orange’s ad has taken social media by storm.
Perhaps it was the cute dogs barking?
Orange continues the tradition of “togetherness” themed ads throughout Ramadan, but manages to add its own touch to it by focusing on the neighbors that impact our lives.
Last year, Orange upstaged competitor Vodafone for the most viewership on YouTube, will they be beating them out on Facebook’s platform as well?
Viva Kuwait favored focusing on paying tribute to legendary Khaleej movie star Abdul Hussain Abdul Redha, who had passed away last August.
Seen as one of Kuwait’s main pillars, the comedian and satirical actor and playwright was beloved by all generations. Viva’s choice to honor him with their Ramadan ad can be seen as using insights to position the brand as a brand of the people.
The ad’s choir brings a somber yet uplifting atmosphere to the ad, which also contains references to the actor’s past works.
Already going viral, Zain Jordan’s ad brings recent events back to the foreground as they make their stance in front of world leaders.
Last year, Zain Kuwait’s powerful message on terrorism was applauded by many all over the world for its influential message and effective storytelling. Zain continues to delve into deep issues for their Ramadan campaigns.
This year, Zain’s advertising goes political, bringing in look-alikes of international world leaders. The ad comes only days after violent protests against the USA’s embassy location change. The ad grabs the heartstrings, pulling viewers on a tear-inducing journey.
Bringing the cheer and Ramadan spirit, Kuwaiti Warba Bank spreads the holiday cheer and charitable spirit with its Ramadan ad.
It’s simple ad and message, along with its light tone, reminds us that sometimes we can share our fortunes as easily as buying things.
Mega Ice Cream
Nestle’s Mega is bringing in the fire again this year, with another great take on modern advertising trends.
Mega was one of last year’s most underrated ads but was well-loved within the creative community. It was one of the brands that started the modern trend last Ramadan, and is continuing it this year as well.
Just as with last year, the ad captivates and keeps the viewer watching as curious things happen on screen. It is an exciting new style that we hope other brands will also adapt this year.
WE’s disappearing act
Earlier today, Telecom Egypt’s WE released their Ramadan advert. Shortly after, the ad was deleted from the account, but posts relevant to the ad can still be found on their Facebook page.
Currently, the video can be found in other pages online.
But, the question is, what made the telecom service provider delete it?
A fresh take on advertising your product while adding cultural references that relate to your audience during Ramadan, Netflix’s ad can also be a bit confusing.
Is Netflix’s usage of the classic 1001 Arabian Nights story culturally appropriate or not? Was it appropriate, or should they have used more modern references?
Let us know in the comments.
Pepsi Warms Up
During this time of the year, the #RamadanClassico battle between Pepsi and Coca Cola has both brands waiting for each other to see who will drop their ad first. Both Pepsi and Coca Cola haven’t posted their ads just yet, but Pepsi is already gearing up for the battle with a warm up on their Instagram with Saad Samir.
In our Ramadan 2018’s Most Anticipated Campaigns and Marketing Trends article, we mention that we’ve heard rumors that this year’s Pepsi’s ad will be shot entirely on mobile. With this teaser, could this mean that Pepsi’s ad will be centered around the national team filming themselves as they prepare for the World Cup in June?
Let us know what you think in the comments!