How a popular beverage drove efficient sales uplift during Ramadan

Georges Odeimi, Hanibal Ahwash / December 2019

In a new study of media efficiency and effectiveness, results of a media mixed modeling study showed that YouTube can have a stronger ROI than TV during the region’s biggest ad season: Ramadan.

Tang is a powdered beverage within the Mondelez portfolio. While it is widely consumed in Saudi Arabia, the drink has become synonymous with Ramadan, during which time, sales increase significantly. A large portion of the brand's media activities are focused around Ramadan, and in particular, have traditionally focused on TV.

Aiming to allocate its Ramadan media budget for maximum effect, the Tang marketing team partnered with Nielsen’s advanced analytics team to conduct a media mix modeling (MMM) study. In this way, the team hoped to gain new insights about the ROI of each component of the brand’s media mix. This would demonstrate how to distribute media investment around Ramadan going forward.

Incorporating three years of data, the team analysed Tang sales volumes against the brand’s media activities and promotions. The methodology also enabled the team to correct for various macro factors such as seasonality, weather, consumer price index and so on.

The results clearly demonstrated YouTube’s ability to drive Tang sales, with the platform delivering a return on investment that was nearly 1.5X higher than Television.

Media mix modeling offers a new view

The study compared the period from January to July over two years (2017 and 2018). In this timeframe, the Nielsen Analytics model showed that TV’s contribution to Tang sales fell by 14%. The contribution of Google media grew by 8%, while other digital media saw a 7% rise.

It then drilled down deeper into how TV performed against YouTube and Google Preferred. In indexed ROIt, TV and Google Preferred were tied at 114%, while YouTube came in at 155% — making it the most effective medium.

The results gave the Tang team concrete metrics, a deeper understanding of the drivers of overall sales, and a clear picture of the effectiveness of digital media in its marketing mix.

They’re now evolving their marketing strategy to optimize spend across traditional and digital channels, rather than concentrating mainly on TV. They aim to keep using MMM studies to understand the efficacy and ROI contribution of each channel to inform both channel selection and budget split across digital touchpoints for upcoming strategies.

“Seeing that YouTube and programmatic activity yielded very healthy ROI, we see a key opportunity to strengthen Tang’s presence on these channels,” said Krinio Christaras, Head of Media MENAP, Mondelez International. “The next step for us would be to build a more robust programmatic plan for Tang that exploits display and YouTube in more innovative ways to further drive our ROI.”

In the coming year the Tang team has plans to launch dynamic display ads across the programmatic network and try YouTube mastheads and discovery ads alongside TrueView and bumper ads.

Is it too early to start talking about Ramadan?