By Jochen Bischoff, Head of Consumer Business Partnerships MENA – Global Business Solutions at TikTok
Every brand wants to make its mark during Ramadan, to join this moment of togetherness and remain at the heart of the conversation, rather than disrupting it. Last year, RedSeer projected that online spending during the Holy Month would reach USD 6.2 billion among consumers in MENA, and as online shopping continues to grow in the Kingdom during the Holy Month, according to a 2022 study by Kantar, it is more important than ever for Saudi brands to capture the share of heart and mind during this key retail moment.
Traditionally, marketers have attempted to do this by embedding products and brands in a key Ramadan moment – a family moment, an iftar moment, a shopping moment, and so on. This has led to a phenomenon that becomes amplified with every passing Ramadan – a phenomenon we like to call ‘the paradox of belonging.’
What is the paradox of belonging?
With everyone trying to belong to a single moment that’s shared by thousands of brands, everyone ends up showing up in the same way. This is what the paradox of belonging is all about. In the quest to belong, brands end up losing their true essence, overshadowed by the superficial scenarios and typical visuals associated with the moment. How many times have you seen a Ramadan ad featuring large family gatherings at an iftar table, colorful lanterns, or crescent moons and stars?
Thus, as a result of the drive to belong, brands can end up lost, drowning in an overcrowded sea of sameness.
So how can you be part of the crowded Ramadan moment, yet remain true to your brand and stand out?
This may seem like an impossible task, but it is a true story on TikTok. Brands on TikTok can embrace the multi-faceted nature of the Ramadan moment – the endless possibilities in which it can be enjoyed, the diverse faces and voices that bring it to life, and the many communities it can be expressed through.
And the proof is in the pudding. Brands across all verticals have leveraged the power of TikTok in order to lean into the Ramadan moment, build connections with their audience on an authentic and meaningful level, and ultimately drive results.
True story: Ramadan on TikTok
Oreo’s Ramadan recipes
TikTok is the ultimate virtual kitchen for food & beverage brands to #BelongDifferently during the Holy Month. An excellent example can be seen with Oreo's campaign last Ramadan, where they partnered with TikTok to build a connection with home chefs in KSA, UAE, and Kuwait. TikTok chefs love creating fun new dishes to delight their family and friends – in line with the purpose at the heart of Oreo's brand to #StayPlayful. As part of this campaign, popular creators gave the iconic cookie the starring role in their Ramadan recipes, with creator content being boosted by Spark Ads, In-Feed Ads, and One Day Max.
The campaign was a big success, with a 7.6% increase in ad recall in Saudi Arabia and a 24% higher CPM (cost per thousand impressions) efficiency during Ramadan versus benchmarks.
Styli’s fashion hotline
TikTok also plays the role of a virtual runway for fashion brands. That is why, during the season of togetherness where one always strives to look their best, Styli tapped into the fashion and flair touted by the savvy women of KSA and Kuwait on TikTok.
We created the first-ever Styli fashion hotline on TikTok, giving users simple instructions to create the perfect look for any Ramadan occasion. The branded hashtag challenge along with top view creator videos allowed creators and viewers to create Ramadan looks to make sure everyone’s eyes are glued on.
And the results were as on-point as the outfits, with an 81% lift in brand awareness, a 14.5% lift in conversion, and 824 million total views for the Branded Hashtag Challenge.
Garnier’s Mask & Mousalsal
In Ramadan, it’s common for girlfriends or family members to hang out together while watching their favorite series on TV. They do skincare and manicures, and just enjoy each other’s company; we call this a Mousalsal.
Recognizing that TikTok serves as a virtual salon for beauty brands, Garnier launched the Mask & Mousalsal campaign on the platform which was natively designed for the community, combining their Hair Food and Ampoule Mask product lines. The brand invited creators from KSA and UAE to a set and gave them control of the filming. This resulted in authentic Ramadan content by people who actually partake in this yearly ritual. The campaign was a success, with a 3.6% lift in awareness in KSA, and a 2.9% lift in the brand association.
An unmissable opportunity
Ramadan is one of the most important calendar moments for marketers in Saudi Arabia and the region, and the opportunity to build connections and brand love during the Holy Month is an unmissable one. This Ramadan, brands need to think beyond the traditional playbook #BelongDifferently – participating in the shared moments while standing out. And TikTok is the most diverse and inclusive platform which drives new moments to come to life every day.
For more information on Ramadan on TikTok: https://tiktokramadan.com/mena