That explains why brands ramp up creative competition during the holy month, with the region’s most imaginative ideas coming to life on screen.
But with so many ideas converging along similar themes and executions, things can start to look a little samey.
Here’s how you can capture the right audience with video content that’s really relevant to them:
1. Tackle societal issues in unexpected but value-conscious ways
Ramadan is a time when people look to do good in their communities, so it’s no surprise that challenging topics come to the fore at this time of year.
But audiences are also dialing up the pressure on brands to take a stronger stance on societal topics. Eighty-four per cent of young Gen Zers (14—7) say that they buy products based on beliefs, with 64% of older Gen Zers (18—26) saying that they show their activism through the brands they choose.
To rise above the digital crowd during the holy month, it’s important to think laterally. Last year’s Ramadan campaign by food brand Almarai is a great example of doing just that.
While food brands traditionally theme their Ramadan ads around families and friends sitting at tables heaving with food, Almarai decided to turn the tables on that stereotype.
They challenged the topic of food wastage — a major problem during the holy month — in a way that cleverly fused creativity and humour. In this way, the brand engaged their audience without detracting from the seriousness of the issue. The video racked up an impressive 39 million views as a result.
Marketing tips to elevate your creative approach
Refresh your ABCDs
Businesses who don’t follow YouTube’s ABCD framework tend to have lower view rates and brand lift. However these video ad best practices are key if you’re relying on traditional advertising during Ramadan. And they could even help you see a 17% increase in long-term brand contribution, and a 30% lift in short-term sales likelihood.
Do your sensitivity homework
While challenging big topics is important, be mindful of how the media, creators, and the public might perceive sensitive issues based on trending topics and world events. By focusing on offering relevant messaging that helps people, you’re less likely to be perceived as a brand that’s taking advantage of a situation just to get eyes on your ads.
Align with people’s values
People are looking to do more than just shop during Ramadan. They want to do good, whether that’s preventing food wastage, helping those in need, or something else. By aligning your brand and ads with their values, not only will you help them make their community a better place, you’ll also position yourself as a brand that cares.
2. Create relevant content based on insights
So it’s no surprise that searches on YouTube rise during Ramadan. In fact, about one in three consumers use the video platform to specifically search for content related to home and garden, fashion, beauty, and food and groceries.2
And these searches can be a great source of inspiration for your creative.
Beauty brand Neutrogena partnered with Google during last year’s Ramadan to get a deeper understanding of the top skincare-related searches during the holy month. They then developed a web series, the Neutrogena Skin Show, presenting people with the answers to those questions in a fun but educational way.
The web series featured four episodes of around 20 minutes, each covering one of the four most searched-for skincare topics during Ramadan. The show’s talk-show style discussions between three real women created an authentic sense of connection with the audience.
By thinking people-first and using insights to create content that viewers were interested in watching, Neutrogena directly addressed their consumers’ tension points, resulting in between 900K and 3.7M views per episode.
Marketing tips to create your own winning content
Collaborate with real people
Creator love is big in MENA. Eight-three per cent of Gen Z in Saudi Arabia, 61% in UAE, and 86% in Egypt are subscribed to celebrities, influencers, or content creators on YouTube.3 Partnering with creators not only helps your brand stand out with authentic content, it also unlocks access to engaged audiences, boosting organic amplification and engagement rates more likely to drive your message beyond your investment.
All hail the rise of Connected TV
Eleven million people streamed YouTube on their TV in Saudi Arabia last year.4 With Ramadan being a time when people enjoy watching content together, Connected TV (CTV) can play a crucial role in your campaign’s success. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure your creatives are ABCD optimised, taking CTV into account.
Don’t forget your Shorts
Sixty one per cent of Gen Z in Saudi Arabia and Egypt use short-form video apps to discover things they then watch longer versions of.5 That’s why it’s important to mix up long-form Ramadan content with YouTube Shorts. Some of the more popular Shorts trends to consider for Ramadan include skits, routines, preparation, and decoration.