Ramadan is round the corner and here at INSITE OOH we are eager to report on all the outdoor media campaigns of the festive season!

While brands get busy with the final touches to their Ramadan marketing strategies,  we have already started to hang the lanterns at our office and are  ready to celebrate the Holy month with a few articles that will keep you  informed not only of the campaigns, but also of the tactics behind  them.

In this first article, we have set ourselves to analyze the common features that are frequently present in outdoor Ramadan campaigns – no matter how big or small, local or global. Here are the three most  common elements we will be talking about in the next few days, as we  report on the OOH campaigns across the city:

  1.  Themes

Ramadan is  known to be the month of fasting, but it is also a month of feasting  for families, friends and colleagues! Families gather in the evenings to  break the fast together and enjoy big family meals and special  delicacies that are meant to stimulate the spirit of celebration.

Therefore,  the most common theme in OOH campaigns relates to people getting  together and celebrating the occasion with festive food. Some Food & Beverages brands offer recipes, healthy tips, and even nourishing options for both Iftar  and Suhoor. Broadcast networks schedule shows that are enjoyed by the  whole family as one, and Telecommunication providers offer deals and promotions to encourage users to communicate with their loved ones during the season.

Charity  and giving to those in need is also a significant theme present in many  campaigns. Brands try to show their respect for the culture and the  religious significance of the season, and thus take this chance to  sponsor a good cause or NGO initiative – especially the international brands that are keen to share their customers’ festivity.

  1.  Symbols

Brands who develop a specific campaign for Ramadan make sure to use symbols that are easily recognizable by their consumers.

The  most common symbol has always been the Crescent Moon, not only as a  symbol of the season, but also as the main representation of Islam  across all cultures.

The cannon is also present in most cultures,  as it was the traditional call for Iftar from the times when technology  was not accessible. In the Gulf countries it still has a strong presence  and they fire it symbolically every day during the Holy month.

Other  symbols may relate to particular cultures. For instance, in Egypt we  always find lanterns – it is our strongest icon as it was here where the  tradition of hanging lanterns started. And as such, we decorate streets  and doorways with them every year.

Other minor symbolic elements  include dates – the preferred food to break the fast every evening –, as  well as Arab teapots, which may be seen as an icon that represents the  culture more than the religion itself, but still a strong symbol that  consumers feel identified with.

  1.  Engagement Strategies

Ramadan offers  an excellent chance to connect with consumers. Definitely there is an  increase in ad spend during for the season, but this is generously  returned with a boost in consumers’ engagement, both online and offline.  Usually OOH campaigns during this time relate to campaigns launched in other channels, such as TV or Social Media, and this creates lots of opportunities for real-time engagement.

The most common strategy used to engage consumers at multiple channels are the competitions with generous prizes – questions on Islamic themes  from the Holy Quran, Hadith, or other relevant sources may lead to  amazing prizes in the lines of Hajj and Umrah.

Another very common strategy used to engage consumers at multiple channels is storytelling: brands build up message upon message on different platforms that acquire a special meaning when put together.

Brands  may also choose to deliver Quran suras, or perhaps traditional  proverbs. Some companies may launch motivational quotes. Whatever the  nature of the message, they are all aimed at connecting with consumers  at a moral level. They can be delivered through mobile apps, special  landing pages, or festive newsletters – useful tools that help brands  engage further with their audience.

And lastly, a very important  engagement strategy is event sponsorship. Believe us when we say that  marketing departments are extremely busy during Ramadan – Iftar and Suhoor invitations or special events with prize draws and awards make up very hectic agendas! Brands during Ramadan want  to connect with their partners and employees, but also with their fans,  and every day offers a new opportunity for engagement.

As you can  see, a lot of common elements when it comes to themes, symbols and  strategies, though all so relevant that they feel special in every Ramadan campaign. We will keep talking about all of them during the next coming weeks – stay tuned for our Daily News and Experts Talk articles!

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