7 Lessons Learned from Ramadan Fails

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As Ramadan is ending and before we bring out the Kahk and Egyptian flag to cheer for our heroes in Russia, we are taking a look back at the Ramadan campaigns that didn’t create the expected buzz and gained negative buzz on social media.

Etisalat Egypt – Misuse Celebrities in Ramadan Advertisement:

Choosing to utilize celebrities and influencers in your marketing campaign is tricky, but a beneficiary one if done right since people trust their peers more than brands.
Brands should choose the right celebrity to represent its core values, reflect its objectives and for the brand to reach the influencer or celebrity fans.
Etisalat Egypt has faced fire from its audience this Ramadan for the mixed choice of celebrities and random lyrics.

Three generations in one ad with no apparent message would have this effect.

Naymar Jr. Promoting CityStars Al Sahel:

ARCO has chosen Naymar Jr. to represent them in all their advertisement even before this Ramadan, however, it is unclear who is the audience.
The question presents itself, who is Naymar Jr. inviting to choose CityStars Al Sahel this Ramadan?

The poor double exposure and execution of the advert aren’t helping in delivering the message as well.
Al Marasem is another real estate developer which ad gained negative buzz on social media.

Al Marasem – A provocative Ramadan Ad:

Al Marasem International for Urban Development released an advert featuring the sterling actress Yousra promoting the big names and important people, which provoked Egyptians.

Al Marasem is affiliated to Bin Laden Group, which renovated Cairo International Airport and many residential projects like Al Rehab and now promoting its new projects Fifth Square and Capital Gate.

The advert featuring Yousra has irritated Egyptians due to the pompous script and how superior it felt like it’s looking down its nose at the audience.
It’s worth mentioning that the celebrated Yousra has appeared in another ad for 500 500, which caused great confusion and neither ad’s message felt genuine.

Pepsi Egypt – Poor Execution:

Pepsi Egypt hasn’t shown its best this Ramadan, the awaited Classico between Pepsi and Coca-Cola has left us disappointed.
Pepsi Egypt has teased us of the World Cup advert featuring the Egyptian King for so long, then the reveal deflated big time.

The audience realised early on that Mohamed Salah wasn’t actually in the ad but in front of a chroma elsewhere, which disappointed us greatly. Why go through all this work and effort and ruin it because of poor execution? And for such big brand like Pepsi, this kind of errors is not received gracefully.

Amr Khaled – Negative Feedback, Deleted Advert!

At the beginning of Ramadan, an advert for Al Wataneya Chicken featuring Amr Khaled, the mix of religious and food was too much for Egyptians to just let pass.
Check out the full list of lessons learned from Al Wataneya advert:


Kapci Coating & Hospital 57357 – Localization Gone Wrong:

When brands try too hard to localize a campaign and it goes awry, why you do that?
Kapci has created an ad for Hospital 57357 featuring Cheb Khaled.

In this advert we have many questions, what is the tactical move behind choosing Cheb Khaled? Might be to attract non-Egyptians. If so, why change his entire persona to make him more Egyptian than actual Egyptians? All in all, the advert was all over the place, wardrobe, setting, and message.

Atyab – Unclear Targeted Audience:

Atyab has released an advert featuring the Lebanese singer Tony Hanna.

Again, who is Atyab targeting?

Resala – Wardrobe Mishap:

The non-profit organization Resala has released an ad at the beginning of Ramadan with an unforgivable wardrobe mishap.

Even the slightest, smallest detail can ruin the effort of the whole team and the idea.

EGBank – Repeated Idea:

EGBank has repeated its last year idea because of its major success, promoting MINT incubator. However, this year audience has become bored and not as enthusiastic with it like before.

The first success doesn’t necessarily guarantee another success. EGbank could have kept Oufa’s character but changed the concept to gain audience engagement and emotions like the first time.
Read more about it here:


Lessons Learned:

1. Choose your brand ambassadors wisely, you don’t have to fill your ads with stars and celebrities for the sake of a star-studded ad. Each celebrity and influencer should serve a purpose for your brand, deliver a unique message only this person can.
2. Know your audience, who would benefit from your service? Know their interest and habits to be able to create an advert which they can relate to.
3. Be sure to gain audience insight before coming up with an idea for your ad, because knowing what your audience wants from your brand even if they don’t know will help your brand gain loyal customers and make your brand resonate more.
4. Check, double check and triple check every little detail in your work, because the slightest mistakes can ruin all your efforts.
5. Always prepare a backup plan, or a crisis management strategy, because anything in your advert or message can be misinterpreted or not received quite as you wish. So be prepared for any firebacks. Always come out winning.
6. Resist the comfort zone, try something new. Take calculated risk and never settle for what worked.
7. When you go out of your way to create something extraordinary, then do your best to finish it as such. Don’t overpromise or raise audience’s expectations more than you’re planning on delivering.


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