By Summer Elbosraty, Executive Creative Director Of Momentum Egypt

Summer Elbosraty, Executive Creative Director at Momentum Egypt

Ramadan’s season is just like the Super Bowl Sunday that lasts for a month! 

It is the biggest and most lucrative TV season, where you actually drop all your online/ entertainment platforms and go back to your old friend TV. It’s a time for all brands- big and small- to compete and the clutter is immense.

But this year’s Ramadan is very different from any other Ramadans we have ever seen before.. It is the Ramadan of the year 2020, the year of COVID-19!


How did this COVID-19 or as I like to call it with its nickname (Corona) has impacted Ramadan 2020?

The preparation for Ramadan starts at least a good month pre Ramadan. Crazy times between agencies, and brands through production houses to get things approved in order to be able to shoot and have all campaigns ready on the first day of the season. But as I said earlier, not this Ramadan!

This month started with a lockdown, social distancing and working from home due to the pandemic situation. Which led to a whole total different way of preparations than the usual way.

The Panic of the Pandemic: Are we gonna be able to shoot while we are locked down?! Maybe with a minimum crew? During the curfew hours? And if we can shoot, what will we shoot? Is it your typical.. feel good Ramadan gatherings ads? Or is it a Corona/Ramadan message? Can we recycle last year’s message? Even this has crossed some minds!

Lots of questions that pondered in the heads of people working in the advertising industry!

Now that we are one week through Ramadan we can see that the commercial break isn’t as immense as it used to be in the previous years due to the current situation. It shrunk a lot with lots of repeated commercials to fill it up. Some brands disappeared and some brands managed to survive.

So, let’s have a quick look on the outcome of the first week!

I have split them into small groups in order to make it easier to compare.

The “I will survive”: Those who were fast to adapt to the situation quickly and smartly, they tailor-made their message to fit in Ramadan with a Corona twist, turning the situation to their advantage, shot with minimum crew.. some even did it remotely.. adopting all those new digital tools and trends.

Others made their Ad by asking people to share their home videos during the quarantine. In the end they have managed to do it intelligently. Those are the big players as telecom and a couple of other brands. In my opinion they are winners.

The stupid and stubborn: As the title says it all, those who just kept doing what they are doing (worst)! I am kinda split between admiring them or despising them.. But for sure you can’t ignore them! They just did what they do every Ramadan, regardless of the current situation! The same commercial of every Ramadan, I really wonder how they did it! Have they had it planned and shot way before Corona? I have no idea!

The Too Big Too Boring: Brands not very different from the previous group, yet with bigger budget (maybe), they have managed to be present with mediocre films, shot poorly with a mediocre message. Some others with an edit of old footage saying nothing worthy just to be visible in Ramadan.

The Risers: Brands that never been a ramadan player but given the current situation they actually saw an opportunity to jump in. They are worthy to take note of them. Such as pharmacies.

The invisibles: Unfortunately represent a bulk of brands that couldn’t keep up or react fast. So they decided to be silent for now, counting on their heritage maybe or praying that this pandemic unfolds fast.

Lastly, I believe this Ramadan was a very challenging one! Yet in favor of silver linings.. I see it all positively. Lots of brands/agencies have managed to adapt to survive, Which is the pure core of Advertising and Communication in general. We got out of our comfort zone, adopted new digital tools and smart solutions in such a short time to create smart and relevant communication. We have changed the way we look/do things, and definitely changed. I do believe that we will walk out of this pandemic.. never the same old us.. yet to a better us.