We’re coming round once again to Ramadan, and I wanted to take the chance to write about one case study from last year’s holy month which underlines how much the media landscape is changing.
AlSayegh Media is a UAE-based agency headed by Abdullatif Al Sayegh, the former CEO of Dubai Media Incorporated. While AlSayegh Media is only a couple of years old some of its campaigns have, for me, been groundbreaking in terms of their use of content and social media to reach out to diverse audiences and build communities.
One of the hardest demographics out there to crack for any company in the Middle East is traditional/conservative/religious individuals. Firstly, because there’s a possibility that they may be more sensitive to marketing due to their beliefs. Secondly, there are relatively few religious media channels through which to communicate effectively and which may be receptive to conveying a message on behalf of a company when compared to more mainstream media. Even if a company has a message that they’d like to promote and which would appeal to this target audience, how do they reach this demographic?
The UAE telecoms operator Du decided to be different last year. The telco turned to AlSayegh Media to come up with a unique and original campaign for Ramadan that would by association promote Du and its services.
Rather than me saying how they did it, I’ll let AlSayegh Media’s own write up speak for itself.
As if that wasn’t enough here’s some more stats for you. Over 500 participants took part in the accompanying Khatim Al Qur’an competition. Over 9,600 calls were made to Sheikh Dr Mohammed al Oraifi. And there was an increase of 300% plus in fan engagement on Du’s Facebook page.
AlSayegh Media developed a series of Tabs for Du’s Facebook site which facilitated interaction with the intended demographic (these tabs aren’t live at the moment, but I’m assuming they’ll come back online next week for the start of Ramadan). However, here’s a clip of how the tabs looked last year below.
What to me is more impressive than anything else is the success that AlSayegh Media achieved for Du despite all of the noise during Ramadan. The Holy Month is a communications nightmare due to all of the religious programming that is aired over the four weeks. That AlSayegh Media was able to cut through the chatter and connect with such a hard-to-reach audience (this campaign was only UAE-focused, and aimed at Arabic and English speaking Muslims) speaks volumes about the agency’s strategy, Du’s activation marketing, and the impact of social media.
And the best thing? It was achieved at a fraction of what the same concept would have cost if televised. I’ve been told that even Du didn’t expect the volume of callers that the campaign attracted. Low cost, high return on investment, and community engagement? What’s better than that?
Let’s hope that AlSayegh Media’s Du Ramadan campaign this year will outdo 2011. According to the firm’s CEO Sheikh Dr Mohammed al Oraifi has agreed to the concept once again, and that they’re looking to expand the scope by which Muslims can reach out to the Sheikh. I’d love to see his question and answer sessions being streamed live and then posted onto Youtube, as well as a live Twitter Q&A session which would also help generate discussion between Du and the Muslim community in the UAE.
If you’re curious about Sheikh Dr Mohammed al Oraifi you can follow him on Twitter at @MohamadAlarefe or here for Facebook. The good Sheikh has almost three million followers on Twitter and 13,578 likes on Facebook and is one example of how Islamic scholars are taking to social media to communicate with their followers (I’ll blog more about this soon as well as the amount of fake accounts set up in his name).
And in case you’re curious to hear more about the founder of the company Abdullatif Al Sayegh here’s a clip of him talking at Tedx Ajman last year.