Ramadan is the Super Bowl of the Middle East with advertisers spending majority of their budgets during the Holy Month.
Due to reduced business hours and unusual daily schedules, users’ media habits and purchase behaviors also undergo a massive change.
Until recently, TV – especially Arabic TV – has dominated media plans, but now, digital is slowly taking its place. Understandably so, since time spent on online platforms peaks during the month, which is a goldmine for marketers in a region where smartphone and Internet penetrations are already among the highest in the world.
One such digital platform is Facebook.
86 percent of its users celebrate Ramadan, which explains why the platform sees an overall increase of almost 15% in usage across the MENA region. Much of this usage occurs at night – presumably after iftar and the night prayers – jumping to 36.9% increase at night, which peaks around suhoor at 3am.
Not only are users active on the platform, they are also shopping.
E-commerce activity in the region during Ramadan sees an average increase of 35.8% peaking at a 78% at night. This amplified activity is primarily driven by mobile purchases, which gets a 43.2%, when compared to a 5.5% increase in desktop activity during the Holy Month.
How can brands benefit?
With users in MENA spending an extra 57.6 million hours on Facebook throughout Ramadan, the opportunity for brands is huge.
For example, Landmark Group’s Splash promoted its Ramadan collection on Facebook during Ramadan resulting in a 75% increase in sales during Ramadan, with an 80% increase in conversion rates, yielding 15% higher return on ad spend.
Another example is that of L’Oreal, which used custom-made creatives to promote its Ultra Doux haircare range during Ramadan on Facebook, resulting in a 14.3% increase in ad recall in Saudi Arabia, and a 9.3% increase in brand awareness in the UAE.