Ramadan is the most social time of year for Muslims. As Ramadan dawns, routines go out of the window. Muslims across the region fast from dawn to dusk and because working hours are cut, people work less and socialise more, often coming together during Iftar (Breaking of the fast meal) and Suhoor (Pre-dawn meal).
With a limited number of hours in the day where people could drink tea, PHD’s core challenge was to find a way of making Lipton the beverage of choice between Iftar (7pm) and Suhoor (4am).
Ramadan moves annually and in 2014 it largely fell in the scorching month of July where daytime temperatures in Saudi Arabia top 42 degrees Celsius! A hot cup of tea is hardly appealing after having no food or water for nearly 15 hours!
But aside from fasting, Ramadan is also a time of year where media inflation and advertiser spends rocket and as a result clutter becomes intense- needless to say it becomes very difficult to cut through, particularly with TV.
Lipton is a brand rooted at the heart of the family home and tea by its very nature is a social connector; particularly during Ramadan where family and friend visits increase.
An important element of Ramadan is “social togetherness” stemming from the reflection and spirituality Ramadan provokes; these are actually great occasion for which tea is the perfect accompaniment. The problem is, Ramadan brings out nostalgia in people, and many revert back to childhood memories.
As a result, Vimto cordial for example deliver 50% of its annual sales in Ramadan month. It was whilst discussing its own Ramadan moments, PHD recognised a key insight. To get people to drink tea, Lipton had to remind them of all the happy, social occasions with family and friend’s tea has been at the heart of. In essence, it had to connect with consumers emotionally, and associate Lipton with fond memories and the family sentiments of Ramadan.
TV was an obvious platform to use, but high volumes of clutter meant the message would be likely drowned out by the wave of Ramadan Kareem greetings which were common every year. TV would obviously build reach, but not the deep emotional connection PHD believed would activate sales.
Social media in the region is huge, and it is used differently in the Middle East to many other global regions. Middle Eastern consumers spend high percentages of their media day using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, largely because it is great platform for family and friends to retain and strengthen bonds, something very important to Arab culture.
With this in mind, Lipton created a powerful social platform that linked the power of TV with the emotional connectivity of social.
PHD partnered with Twitter and Facebook to understand the best performing Ramadan posts from the past three years. These insights informed a content calendar influencing connections at times of the day and also times of the month (duration into Ramadan).
The activity was split into three phases:
Phase 1 built the bases. No local YouTube channel or Twitter handle existed, so these were established.
The campaign began by seeding #teamoments, encouraging Consumers to upload a 6 second video clip or photos of their ‘From Ifatr to Suhoor teamoments’ to our teamoments.net microsite. Paid social ads were rolled out to drive people to the microsite to stat uploading content, before finally utilising TV and other broadcast formats to drive participation.
On Twitter activity was split into four parts; Campaign based tweets, User Generated Content collation, Engagement and Response, this allowed PHD to be motivational to drive participation and also to ensure it could encourage and interact with those uploading content.
YouTube activity ran across platforms and Search targeting reached the audience at poignant moments throughout their day, including greetings at the moment of Iftar and Suhoor each day in each country (timings differ by geography).
To collate all the inbound content PHD partnered with technology company Veez and set up a manned station which operated 24:7, over 21 days. This allowed them to stitch the content together and deploy a UGC TV during the last week of Ramadan, all within 4 days.
The strength of results amazed everyone, and most of all, the client:
10,944 hashtag mentions were generated, 96% were User Generated uploads, with 9,564 total video clips/images received to Lipton. Particularly impressive given that the region remains very conservative and generally people are hesitant to post pictures of themselves. A similar campaign for a different FMCG delivered less than 100 entrants.
One of the most impressive elements of the campaign was the time in which it took to edit and stitch, and then traffic a new TV Commercial. In all, the process took less than 4 days, aided hugely by the dedicated resource we had utilizing Veez technology.
Volume growth leapt a massive +21.1% - (11.1 percentage points greater than the target).
This was huge news for the business, Ramadan is not only a time when tea consumption drops, but also a very important time of year to be in the home and connect with consumers.
Lipton gained 172 basis points in July versus previous month, a significant achievement versus the target of 60 basis points (nearly 3x objective).
The campaign was successful in creating new Ramadan Iftar to Suhoor moments which form the foundation of future Ramadan memories.