Traditionally, Ramadan is one of the biggest marketing seasons in the MENA region. Brands thrive to stand out during this busy period. It is the optimal time for marketing campaigns; brands compete over who manages to capture the most attention by getting the most views. However, a brand connecting with the audience goes beyond just viewership; a successful campaign is about driving conversation, crafting meaningful content, hence increasing social media engagement. Ramadan is characterized by the time of the year, when viewers are excited about advertisements. Viewers wait in anticipation to see what kind of creative idea will the top brands present; they expect to see something different each year.
Using the Crowd Analyzer tool, we monitored and analyzed 1.7M social media activity Ramadan ads during the first week of Ramadan to identify the key lessons we can learn from the top Ramadan campaigns in 2021 based on 52 brands monitored.
Let's start with who generated the buzz?
Based on the number of views, and monitored brands, those three telecom brands are taking the lead. It is no surprise that the telecom industry dominated the conversation this year; they made up 70% of user discussions mentioning Ramadan ads. People actively search for telecom ads online during the season; those ads became a social media trend generating a lot of opinions about the visual concept, themes and celebrity figures.
During the first week of Ramadan, Vodafone witnessed the highest number of views; on other social media platforms, users engaged at 44% with over 23.5m views on YouTube in just the 1st week. This ad featured the iconic comeback of the famous performer, Sherihan; it brought a taste of nostalgia from the past that created a lot of excitement.
Etisalat was the second most viewed ad on youtube with 20m views during the monitored period; however, engagement level was higher at 58%. This ad featured a collaboration between two celebrities, Nancy Ajram and Amir Kararara, in a playful romantic story involving fictional characters in a musical.
Unlike Vodafone and Etisalat, Orange took on a different approach by focusing on a Ramadan theme, which is the beautiful moments lived during this holy month in Egypt. Social media users engaged with this ad at 53% and it generated 17m views in the first week on YouTube.
Those ads compete for prime time on TV, but there is also a very important channel that cannot be ignored. Conversations about those ads are taking place on social media, so it is key to integrate social media into your Ramadan marketing campaigns. By analyzing the key social media metrics that made those ads successful, brands can learn to effectively manage social media campaigns during Ramadan.
Here are 3 key lessons learnt from the top Ramadan Campaigns:
1. Paying attention to how the audience feel is crucial
For all those ads mentioned, social media users were leaning towards the positive sentiment more than the negative; 91% of user conversations about the Etisalat ads were positive. During this season, the marketing campaign is the key factor that determines how viewers feel about the brand.
Vodafone Ad | Sentiment Analysis
Etisalat Ad | Sentiment Analysis
Orange Ad | Sentiment Analysis
Ramadan is a time where the audience expect brands to connect with them through their content. It is clear that Ramadan is not about being the most creative or spending the most amount of money; it is about making connections with the audience through relevant and relatable content. By looking into the most popular topics discussed with Etisalat ad mentions, we found that a striking 84% of users mostly commented on how the ad is cheerful, especially with the presence of Nancy Ajram.
2. Facebook is among the most engaging platforms
To analyze the success of a campaign, it is important to look beyond the number of views for each ad. Brands need to be aware where conversations about their campaigns are taking place. Such information will give them an opportunity to build a connection with their audience. Facebook was considered the leading platform for both Vodafone at 90% and Etisalat at 41%, while interactions on YouTube were not as much. This indicates that people viewed the ad on YouTube, but preferred to express their opinions on Facebook.
Meanwhile, 55% of interactions for the Orange ad were on YouTube, followed by Facebook at 39%. Hence, every brand needs to consider all social media platforms as part of their strategy to cultivate an engaged audience; no platform should ever be excluded.
3. Picking the right celebrity is key
Before picking a celebrity, it is important to dig deep into the demographics of your audience to understand who they are and what they are interested in. This data should be at the center of your marketing strategy. Using celebrities in Ramadan campaigns is a very common tactic for many industries especially telecom. Based on the data monitored, viewers enjoyed the presence of the celebrities in this year’s Ramadan ads. They became the hero of the ads; users mentioned the name of the celebrities more than anything else. In the Vodafone ad, 98% of the user conversations mentioned the iconic figure featured in the ad, Sherihan.
Etisalat is another ad that featured two celebrities, Nancy Ajram and Amir Karara, in a playful romantic story. Just like Vodafone, people enjoyed the ad for how the celebrity made them feel. It takes beyond their presence to impress an audience; it is about how the campaign makes them feel.
There is always an opportunity for your brand to improve their marketing strategy by staying on top of the game, we got you covered in our latest 2021 State of Social Media Report Edition presenting you with all the latest social media trends and insights for better targeting. It is also never too late to integrate social media content planning into your Ramadan marketing strategy, because if you don’t your brand will fall behind.
Crowd Analyzer is here to support you with an effective social media listening tool that will help you monitor your campaign in real time and understand what is working well with your target audience, so you can optimize your strategy before the end of the season.