This post is sponsored by Unruly.
With more than 240 million Muslims living across Southeast Asia, Ramadan is one of the biggest advertising events of the calendar year.
But what is the best way for brands to engage consumers during this month-long festival?
Well, to help advertisers ahead of this year’s celebration, leading ad platform Unruly has analysed some Ramadan campaigns from last year using its content testing tool UnrulyEQ to examine what worked – and what didn’t.
The results were then compared with Unruly’s database of thousands of ads to examine viewers’ emotional responses and their impact on various brand and business metrics.
Here are the five important takeaways
1. Tap into emotional trends
Ramadan creatives certainly pack an emotional punch – and are considerably more likely to make people feel more emotional than most other ads.
For example, in 2020, Ramadan ads were on average twice as heart-warming than the average Southeast Asian ad.
As shown in the above graph, the top three emotions that advertisers tend to use in Ramadan ads are happiness, nostalgia and warmth. These three emotions came out repeatedly in the ad testing, and the use of all three often resulted in increased levels of brand recall, purchase intent and brand favourability.
A great example of this was KFC’s Ramadan spot, which over-indexed heavily in these emotions, scoring an outstanding EQ score of 7.3/10 for overall effectiveness.
Alternatively, to stand out against other brands, advertisers might want to consider producing creatives that evoke less utilised emotions such as amazement, exhilaration or hilarity.
2. Communicate with the right story to acknowledge the holiday
Ensure your ad accurately represents the holiday, while also being mindful of the impact the pandemic has had on celebrations.
For example, don’t feature a large gathering of guests and extended families due to the current social distancing measures.
Ad campaigns that acknowledged the impact the pandemic has had on our daily lives, and how it has affected Ramadan, were found to be 10% more emotionally engaging than ads that didn’t.
Many brands have found creative ways to connect with and encourage their audiences during the ongoing pandemic, acknowledging the festivities won’t be quite the same as before, but aimed to spread a message of hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Make sure your branding is prominent
Even with consumers’ emotions heightened last year, many Ramadan ads missed the mark when it came to brand recall, falling below the SEA benchmark of 68%.
To optimise your creative to achieve the best brand recall, make sure your brand logo is prominent at the beginning of the video to really connect with consumers.
MyXL achieved strong brand recall with its Ramadan spot by choosing to keep its logo in the corner of the screen throughout the length of its ad. This resulted in a whopping 97% of viewers remembering the brand.
4. Tie your brand to the holiday
Surprise and inform viewers in an authentic or unique way. Beauty brands can consider sharing tips on helping consumers to keep their skin healthy during the holidays, while tech brands may like to show how technology can connect families during the celebration.
Though many were unable to meet physically during Ramadan last year, Indonesian telco Telkomsel produced an ad that showed how its services allowed families to see each other virtually.
5. Make sure you’re on the right track
You have put your video together, but feel unsure about it. What should you do? It’s more important than ever to take your creative for a test run before you release it to the masses.
With the help of content testing tools such as UnrulyEQ you can discover the full emotional and brand impact of your ads to find out which moments are working the hardest – all before your ad is distributed.
Do you want to see more insights?
Click here to download Unruly’s Ramadan Playbook.