So here we are, another Ramadan has passed before we even know it.

And even though Ramadan days tend to be shorter & we tend to get super busy, I personally make it a point to spend some time scanning the media scene thoroughly. As a viewer, I look forward to it because it kinda brings home back to me, and as an advertising person, I believe it’s imperative for me to stay connected. It actually surprises me when I meet Arab advertisers that live in our region who tell me “oh we don’t watch Arabic channels!!”

Before drifting away from the point, here are some overall observations about the key players this year in Ramadan:  

Zain is the biggest spender during Ramadan, and just like every year, they are continuing to participate by putting out an emotionally impactful song that supports a strong social cause/ issue. By showing the coming together of two religions, it definitely touches your heart and is a much needed sentiment, but do we like it or not? The problem is we aren’t sure because even though it’s new, it is sort of expected from Zain.

Continuing with Telecommunications, it is interesting to see that du is also sending out an important social message in their communication. A strong call to action combined with a simple execution. People can easily relate with the message of joining together and giving, especially during the month of giving, as we all know it.  

As the event of the decade draws closer, we can all be sure that Expo 2020 is of course a significant spender this Ramadan. They participated this year with a strong presence on both TV & social media, with a copy that takes the UAE out to connect with the world.

What was most interesting to me this Ramadan was to see Cottonil creating interest in the Saudi market with a TVC adaptation of one of their Egyptian adverts, which was aired on Pan Arab channels. This put a smile on my face, I am not sure why.

Nutella entered this Ramadan with big media spends and an obvious strategy to start owning this occasion.

Finally the contest is on between Tang & Vimto, the two most iconic ‘Ramadanish’ drinks that have owned the occasion over the years. We noticed that Vimto has placed a lot more focus on digital this year vs. TV, while Tang maintained a big presence on TV. It is obvious that they want to stay TOV during this Holy month & always the equivalent of the Iftar moment.

In the end, there is something about Ramadan that brings out the best in some brands and makes others fall into the trap of repetition. Regardless, it is very exciting to follow this race, and see which of these brands will surprise us, and which ones will get lost in the crowd.