A wise man once said: A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. The only purpose of a company, after all, is to make money for its shareholders. The holy month which described as ‘Super Bowl’ for advert in the Middle East shows that during Ramadan consumer spending spikes and most marketers Increase advertising budget. Ramadan 2011 saw TV figures rise dramatically across the Middle East by 30 percent, according to Paris-based market researchers IPSOS.
[blockquote style=”quote” align=”right” author=”Vatche Keverian, CEO of JWT MENA”]Average viewership is a couple of hours during normal days. On Ramadan, it is double that, because people have more downtime; more me- and we- time.[/blockquote]Packages this year for stations enjoying high viewing figures range from LE3 million to LE7 million, with repetitions of a 30-second ad ranging from 125 to 300 times a month. A package worth LE5 million last year offered by the same stations would have given the advertiser 300 repetitions. One source at Egyptian State Television who preferred to remain anonymous said to Al Ahram Weekly that the state television channels, which have lower viewer figures, have not made changes to the five-package choices introduced last year, with prices ranging from LE500,000 to LE4 million for 100 to 2,000 repetitions of a 30-second ad.
Soft drinks including Coca Cola and Pepsi are among the biggest spenders in the Middle East during the holy month, with telecommunication companies often bringing up the rear. In 2012, Pepsi spent $91 million on Pan-Arabic television spots, Coke $40 million, and telephone companies like Vodafone and Etisalat spent between $40 and $50 million each.
While Muslim countries specifically countries in MENA region go back to the traditional values of their culture, Egypt political events made its influence for major brands to create a different wave of campaign that matches the current situation and most of brand took the loyal theme to encapsulate Ramadan 2013 campaigns.
Ramadan 2013 commercials was beyond marketing products and or, services and majority of brands even multinationals decided to be pure Egyptian and highlight the Egyptian culture and create a customized message for customers reviving the Egyptian heritage and inherited characteristics.
Coca Cola Egypt : Let’s unite again. Why not ?
Again the famous Cairokee band after the boom in Etganen campaign few months ago, Coca Cola commercial had high hopes with the use a song by the same brand while Aida El Ayouby replaced by more fresh and younger smooth voice. It received criticism for being cliché and too traditional, yet the song gained popularity during the very early days of the holy month. The nicely played counter attack by Pepsi which was very obvious a mass production advert, forced Coke to re-produce a new wave in the last week of Ramadan bringing collection of starts mainly actors and football players to re-hit on why not? main theme of the campaign.
However, The Coca Cola advert first hit guaranteed predominance buzz for the brand among others until Pepsi come up with its nostalgic piece of art. Although the TVC scenes was simple and urged people to share responsibility for better future, Yet! the main Ad concept was intriguing for some people who claimed its targeted message for current political events inviting Muslim Brotherhood back in the Egyptian political scene.
Pepsi Egypt : Let’s complete our gathering
While Coca Cola released its campaign first and make most of brands look as if they ware not ready for Ramadan, on 4th day of Ramadan Pepsi Egypt managed to launch one of the remarkable campaigns that will stick into customer’s minds for so long time or, maybe for many years.
Pepsi & Chipsy have come together to re-ignite the spirit of Ramadan by bringing together the most famous Ramadan icons: Nelly, Fatouta, 3amo Fouad and Boogie & Tamtam. The effort behind the obvious in idea creation and in implementation. Even the teaser was not enough to reflect the campaign concept and may be it was underestimated by competitors.
Targeting teenagers and young generation who become to technology addicts and stuck to mobiles focusing on how family gathering touched allot families because its a situation we face everyday. Also, Pepsi and Chipsy campaign received criticism for bringing Fouad El Mohandes [who passed away in 16 September 2006] into the advert and some audience considered it a critical moral issue !
Vodafone Egypt : Share
If we skip the quality of the images that meant to simulate a normal mobile camera and the words used in the Egyptian pop star Mohammad Mounir song, The concept on which Vodafone built up its Ramadan 2013 campaign was hitting on the core of Egyptian society characteristics [Sharing] and reiterating that Egyptians have always had sharing in their DNA way before social networks and mobile phones.
The idea behind the campaign is brilliant and taking it to many levels until starting that; Because our country full of beautiful things that deserve sharing. Yet the TVC songs script was not as strong as the concept and Mohamed Monier who is well known of deep words chosen in his songs was not the best choice for Vodafone or, may be changing the song scrip and keeping Mohamed Monier should have been a better option.
A special rewarding program [Vodafone El Meshayaraty] was designed for the holy month that allow customers to send free minutes and messages for friends. Also the campaign was reinforced by a digital activation for Ramadan quiz [Fawazeer] on Vodafobe Facebook fan-page [The biggest brand’s fan page in Egypt and MENA].
The low quality scenes [mobile camera quality] was astonishing for audience to be used by a world leader mobile operator, but! it was a new way to deliver a close to reality situation and on contrary to imaginary world created by Pepsi.
Mobinil : Always Together
After the first advert wave featuring Kareem Abdl El Aziz in a typical of movie endings, just-in-time diffusing of a bomb, For the second year, Mobinil capitalize on the Always Together concept. Even if 2012 song created a bigger buzz but it was remarkable how Mobinil continue to create a national campaign more than a Ramadan Advert.
Completing each others was the message to be delivered in part II song of Always Together released in Ramadan 2012. A 1000 circles of connection, is one of the most elite words used this Ramadan. As Mobinil is the only Egyptian Mobile operator serves the Egyptian market it always triggers the sense of belonging in its campaigns and it appear obvious in Mobinil’s communication strategy.
The release date [Friday 26th July, 2013] adds another genius dimension for the campaign.
Etisalat Egypt : We Are a Smart Nation
When Etisalat Egypt was the last Telecom brand to unleash its Ramadan campaign but it needed a brilliant copywriter to come up with such script. The Ad gives you allot of reason to feel proud and even if its so simple reasons but it touches Egyptians daily life. The Ad start with a clear statement : We Are a Smart Nation, then it adds how Egyptian people can bring creative solutions out of zero possibilities.
Promote Egyptian creativity, by showing a man brewing coffee on an iron and another who keeps himself afloat by tying plastic bottles to his waist. Although innovative, the TVC didn’t create a big buzz this Ramadan contrary to the break up campaign created Ramadan 2012.
Actually the idea behind the Ad was the biggest investment made to create this unique piece with no mass production. Also, audience interaction indicates that Etisalat customers like humor more than innovation !
Telecom Egypt : New Start
Egyptians really appreciate sense of humor and if humor was an Olympic game, The gold medal will be reserved for Egypt forever. This what made TE suffer for how audience kept making fun of Telecom Egypt song.
Although the words are brilliant and a one minute TVC summarized Egypt’s achievements and how we overcome challenges giving reasons to believe in a better future, Search inside yourself, Your Pyramids intro brought up allot of jokes and comics on Social Media.
Telecom Egypt announcing the new corporate identity and getting ready to get the forth mobile license in Egypt was the most motivational campaign for Ramadan 2013 reflected Egypt’s current status; Supported by unique history and one of the seven wonders of the world, Guaranteed by building up the High Dam by President Nasser challenging the world’s super powers and bolstered by an opportunity to a new start for a new Egypt with new political system and consequently economic system in making process.
Stand up for implant your footprint. Change your day. Run if you intend to pioneer; all this words delivers a clear and to the core message for a nation seeking a smarter start.
Being one of Egypt’s telecommunication sector pillars and one of biggest corporates in the country [estimated 50,000 employes] , Telecom Egypt was lucky to release its new corporate identity simultaneously in same time of re-shaping Egypt’s face.