7 Ramadan trends for brands in Malaysia and Indonesia to take note of

With Ramadan slightly more than a month away, brands are slowly gearing up for the festive season. Before Ramadan festivities start in full swing, here are seven trends marketers in the region can take note of when forming their plan of attack for the festive season.

1. Muslims search for different content at different times

According to ADA's recent trends and insights report surrounding Ramadan, Muslims in Malaysia are interested in religious keywords such as ustaz, iftar and Quran. They are also interested in Ketuk-Ketuk Ramadan, starring actress Sheila Rusly, which ended in 2019 after 15 years. Also, Muslim consumers' interests lean towards entertainment and celebrities during the festive period. After which, consumers begin looking at content on open houses and vlogs.

ada malaysian search

Meanwhile in Indonesia, Muslims show more interest in recipes for kue kering and new models of festive clothing during Ramadan.

Muslims in Indonesia are largely interested in videos about family, togetherness, traditions and beef dishes.

ada indonesian search

After the first week of Eid al-Fitr celebrations, consumers' interest in traffic conditions and prices peak as their expenditures during the festivities start to take a toll, the report said.

2. Avoiding the clutter when uploading videos

Brands and creators in Malaysia should avoid posting 10 days before Eid al-Fitr, which according to ADA's report is by far the most cluttered period in Malaysia (bottom left). As for Indonesia, brands and creators should stay away from the first two days before Eid al-Fitr, as it is the most cluttered time (bottom right).


ada malaysian videoada indonesian video


In a statement to Marketing Interactive, ADA's CEO Srinivas Gattemneni said marketers should avoid any overarching themes. "Stop viewing all your customers as the same by serving them one-size fits all messages. Instead, create content that will address them as individuals," he said.

3. Last minute purchase of big ticket items

Malaysians tend to purchase new cars leading up to the festive period as they plan to drive back to their hometowns. According to ADA, the increase in car purchases last from Ramadan all the way until Eid al-Fitr. In Indonesia, Muslim consumers purchse big ticket items such as furniture, automotive and electronics, as they prepare their homes to receive guests in the days and weeks to come. ADA's data showed that there is a slight dip during the first two weeks as consumers either end up making last minute purchases or they receive their salary.

ada indonesian big ticket items

4. Travel patterns differ by country

There are two spikes in travel among Malaysian Muslims. The first occurs a week before the festive period and the second occurs on the third week of Eid al-Fitr. Surprisingly, more people travel to Kota Kinabalu over Johor Bahru or east coast cities in Peninsular Malaysia, which is home to a larger number of Muslims.

ada malaysia travel

Meanwhile in Indonesia, while most brands might assume that consumers would travel back home close to the festive period, ADA said in Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Timur, Riau and Sumatera Barat, most people travel the month before.

ada indonesia travel

5. Usage of religious apps fluctuates

In Malaysia, there is an 82% increase in individuals using religious apps before Ramadan. According to ADA, this drops to -2% once the fasting month starts and only picks back up during the second week of the festive period. On the other hand, Indonesia sees a 327% increase in Muslims using religious apps which drops to 96% by the third week of Ramadan, as consumers adapt to fasting and other routines of the holy month.

6. Muslims start eating out less

Compared to Muslims in Indonesia, those in Malaysia are quicker to shift from dining out to cooking at home, and this behaviour remains strong throughout the festive period as consumers often get together for meals in each other's homes. In Indonesia, the number of cooking enthusiasts begin to spike and there is a correlating dip in interest towards eating out as consumers shift their behaviour.

7. Visits to mosques, prayer rooms and cemeteries shift

For Malaysians, convenience is most important as the number of people visiting both mosques and prayer rooms increases, which according to ADA shows they do not discriminate between the two. Meanwhile, visits to relatives' graves start picking up from the second week of Ramadan onwards. In Indonesia, as more Muslims head to the mosques, less people visit prayer rooms. Meanwhile, the tradition of cleaning relatives' graves only picks up closer to the second week of the festive period.

(Read also: Stop telling, start doing: How to cut through the Ramadan ad clutter)