Every year the people around Middle East gather together to spread love and charity during the holy month of Ramadan, and brands create special deals and prepare massive campaigns for the occasion. To most of the average population, it would seem that the businesses are only in it to produce media coverage and get some attention from the literally starved public.
Reaching out to the public can be a difficult task for marketers, and a very critical for your PR team if you don’t tread carefully. Companies in Saudi Arabia reminded us and the public that small charitable deeds and actions can still be a strong method for gaining public awareness and positive buzz.
Faith in humanity, and corporate, is restored
5 days ago, twitter user “Mr_Abdul3ziz” tweeted to large Saudi Arabian food franchise, Shawarmer. In his tweet, and Shawrmer’s answer, he demonstrated how a small action from a company can produce big results.
Mr_Abdul3ziz’s tweet to the company had him asking how many retweets would it take for the franchise to give 100 free sandwiches to street workers.
الاعزاء شاورمر @ShawarmerSA تحية طيبة.
كم ريتويت عشان تعطونا 100 ساندوتش نوزعها على عمال النظافة في الشارع ؟
— عبدالعزيز القحطاني (@Mr_Abdul3ziz) April 14, 2017
The reply was simple and effective, none. The franchise replied with a strong message, it would not need any retweets because it would give the sandwiches simply because it was for charity.
@Mr_Abdul3ziz مرحبا عبدالعزيز، حنا نعاون على الخير، لك ١٠٠ شاورما بدون ريتويت
— Shawarmer | شاورمر (@ShawarmerSA) April 14, 2017
And the snow ball just started…
Within a short amount of time, other large franchises in the country jumped on the opportunity and announced they would also give free food for charity.
Companies that were not in the food industry, such as car service giant Careem who announced they would provide cars for the charitable event, joined in to provide other services and items according to their industry.
Tania Water, a bottled water provider in the SA, announced that they would provide as much bottled water as needed; a media agency offered to provide media coverage for the campaign for free as well.
— كريم السعودية (@CareemKSA) April 14, 2017
— دومينوز السعودية (@DominosKSA) April 15, 2017
— مايسترو بيتزا (@MaestroPizzaKSA) April 15, 2017
— رُحماء (@rohamaaco) April 15, 2017
— أسـماك البحـرين (@Bahrain_Fish20) April 15, 2017
— محمد الشعلان (@MO_ALSHALAN) April 15, 2017
— Pizza Inn | بيتزا إن (@PizzaInnSA) April 15, 2017
— الاتصالات السعودية (@STC_KSA) April 15, 2017
— جريدة الرياض (@AlRiyadh) April 15, 2017
@Mr_Abdul3ziz ولكم مننا مساعدتكم في التصوير وتغطية كاملة للتوزيع والترتيب أجهزتنا جاهزه لك ونبي نشارك!
— Trendmena (@Trend_MENA) April 15, 2017
— بيتزانا (@pizzana1) April 16, 2017
— سكاي أخبار (@Skyakhbar) April 15, 2017
— سنابل السلام (@SAFM_KSA) April 16, 2017
@Mr_Abdul3ziz واحنا بعد نبي نشارككم الاجر ونقدم لكم ١٠٠ شاورما يومياً ولمدة ١٠ ايام??❤️
— شاورما بلس (@shawarmaplussa) April 15, 2017
— NCPD (@NCPD_SA) April 16, 2017
— مجموعة السلطان (@AlsultanDates) April 15, 2017
— مياه تانيا (@TaniaWaterKSA) April 15, 2017
— مطعم شيف الشام® (@chef_alsham) April 16, 2017
— OceanPotionSa (@OceanPotionSa) April 16, 2017
— Juicoo Frutoo – جوسو (@Juicoo_Frutoo) April 15, 2017
— الشاورما الطازجة (@ShawrmaTazajah) April 15, 2017
— مطاعم شاو (@Shau_Res) April 15, 2017
— بيت الشواية (@Shawayahouse) April 14, 2017
— COOKIES.BROWN (@cookies_brown0) April 15, 2017
— sarry shaaban (@HOTWAVES) April 15, 2017
— مطعم هشهشة (@hash_hasha) April 15, 2017
— FregentoSA (@FregentoSA) April 15, 2017
ونحن في علاقات الخبراء سنقدم بطاقات شحن لمائة عامل حتى يتواصلوا مع ذويهم هاتفيا ❤
— علاقات الخبراء (@ERO4071) April 15, 2017
— zonice | زونايس (@ZoniceSa) April 15, 2017
— Sticky | ستكي (@StickyKSA) April 15, 2017
@bussins_m @Mr_Abdul3ziz @ShawarmerSA @CHICKEN_TAG @AljalTuu @currypalace2 تعلن اعلانات تبوك انه من يقدم وجبات مجانيه ل عمال النظافة ب #تبوك له اعلان مجاني او من يقدم لهم تبرع خيري من اي محل له اعلان مجاني
— #اعلانات_تبوك (@P_Tabuk) April 16, 2017
A little bit of heart goes a long way
What companies then forgot was that it wasn’t a pre-coordinated stunt or charitable organization behind the entire thing. It was a single man who wanted to see what would happen if he just asked, and a company who answered with heart and brains.
Expectations of business are shifting. Business should develop real social values that could reinstate society’s trust in brands.