Pepsi launched an ad campaign that features multi-screen mobile videos during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and abstinence, Adweek reported. The soft drink’s “Let’s Get Together” promotion developed by Impact BBDO Cairo consists of three videos that show different frames of the same episode and can only be viewed on moblie.
The ads, which appear on YouTube and Facebook’s Carousel feature, encourage a viewer to get together with two other people, combine their phones and hit “play” on their videos at the same time, per the report. Sameer Ghanem, Egypt’s most popular actor, narrates the story of a group of friends who are joining to celebrate Iftar, the evening meal to break the fast that’s required while the sun is up. The friends are distracted by their phones, and the ad urges viewers to put down their phones on focus on each other.
Pepsi has been running ads for the past four years that emphasize “togetherness” in Middle Eastern and North African markets where Ramadan is a key part of the calendar. Even though fasting is required during the observance, food consumption typically surges during the month.
Since the best way to watch the ad is with three smartphones placed side-by-side, it is a fun way to reinforce the idea of togetherness during Ramadan, when people gather for meals and smartphone usage spikes. The campaign is also an example of how marketers' mobile strategies are getting more creative and sophisticated as their understanding deepens of how the devices are used. More specifically, the campaign shows how brands can put people first in their mobile efforts by understanding behavior, needs and interests.
More than 70% of people in the Middle East use smartphones, while 59% of internet users watch videos online each month, according to a Q1 2017 study by Facebook MENA. Given that Ramadan is a time for Muslims to connect with family, faith and friends, Facebook also sees a major surge in activity. The social network found that the 152 million monthly active users in the MENA region spend 5% more time, or an extra 57.6 million hours, on Facebook during the holy month than during other months. Facebook activity typically peaks at 3 a.m. during the month as observers adjust their schedules around daylight restrictions. The late-night jump in activity is a good time to advertise online.
Social media activities related to Ramadan occur in three stages, according to Facebook’s internal studies. The first stage is in the weeks leading up to the holy month, when people buy new outfits to wear at gatherings – a key time for retailers to be ready. Clothing purchases are 1.6 times more likely to be planned than to be impulse buys during this period. Fashion becomes a major discussion topic. Instagram is seven times more popular than Facebook when it comes to snapping selfies and talking about fashion, Facebook said.
The second stage is the month of Ramadan, when Facebook sees a big increase in the sharing of Ramadan experiences with mobile, pictures and video. Mobile conversations spike upward to 4.8x the usual, and watching TV is one of the most popular pastimes during the holy month. The final stage is Eid, the celebration marking the end of Ramadan, when people may look for last-minute gift ideas or travel ideas. Marketers need to be mindful of these cycles and of religious sensitivities that can vary by country in the region.