As the most recent entrant among Egypt’s mobile operators, Etisalat is constantly seeking market leadership. Ramadan is a key season for telecom companies, which compete for the highest share of buzz through appealing ads and expensive media campaigns. With more than 110% mobile penetration in Egypt, all of the operators – including Etisalat – aim to reach the total population during this key time.

Meanwhile, consumers’ media consumption habits are changing. During Ramadan, marketers used to believe that TV viewership spiked during prime time. The proliferation of multi-screen viewing in the region, however, means that opportunities to reach large numbers of viewers goes beyond prime time slots on traditional TV networks.

Tuning in to YouTube in the Ramadan period

With more than 16 million YouTube users in Egypt, Etisalat believed the platform could play a key role in achieving the required brand awareness for Etisalat during Ramadan. “The main objective was to ensure that Etisalat ads appeared on the relevant premium Ramadan content in order to leverage high viewership and have better ad visibility, away from TV clutter,” explains Adham Ayman, Digital Media Manager at Etisalat’s agency, Initiative.

Google Preferred and multiple Masthead ads were utilized during Etisalat’s Ramadan campaign. The messaging of the campaign centred on how Etisalat has taken part in happy moments in people’s lives, and how the brand will be there for their future happy moments too.

“People are always connected and are consuming content more than ever, so we should always consider YouTube as part of our media mix planning to be relevant to our consumers.”

Noha Serageldin, Head of Media & Corporate Communication, Etisalat

“YouTube Google Preferred guaranteed us the reach and the exposure during Ramadan on all screens – desktop, tablets, smartphones and smart TVs – by exclusively appearing on top Ramadan content and channels,” Adham reveals. “Thanks to the Google team who supported us on pulling the right Ramadan channels with the right content, we managed to sponsor them exclusively through the month of Ramadan.”

A connection with consumers spreads the brand message

When Etisalat measured campaign reach, number of views, number of impressions and brand lift, the results exceeded expectations. There was an overall uplift of 551% in ad recall for people exposed to the ad versus a control group. Organic views went up by 204% and watch time grew by 50%. Engagement – including video shares – saw a 150% boost.

“The results that we received in terms of reach, visibility and brand lift confirmed to Etisalat that our strategy was very successful in treating YouTube as a serious video channel along with TV,” affirms Noha Serageldin, Etisalat’s Head of Media & Corporate Communication. “People are always connected and are consuming content more than ever, so we should always consider YouTube as part of our media mix planning to be relevant to our consumers. Going forward, Etisalat will continue to follow a multi-screen planning approach to target all audiences on different media vehicles and to maximize reach, ad recall and awareness.”