Ramzan’s Slim Pickings
Published in Mar-Apr 2023
Ramzan is prime time for FMCG marketing, yet this year’s Ramzan media activities seemed to be submerged by its proximity to the Pakistan Super League and then of course the recession on steroids that is affecting us all. Not surprising then that the usual FMCG advertisers were conspicuous by their absence from the annual roster of Ramzan campaigns. Nevertheless, companies like Peak Freans, National Foods, Coca-Cola, Knorr, and Foodpanda did manage to show up with TVCs and digital campaigns that stood out.
Sooper: This year’s TVC caught the attention of audiences with a star-studded cast and a message of kindness. Sooper’s ‘Dua-e-Taufeeq’ is the story of how a prosperous shop owner (superstar Fawad Khan) supports a cart seller (veteran actor Nadeem), thereby emphasising the importance of kindness and of supporting one another during the holy month. The TVC may not have been quite at par with Sooper’s previous campaigns (remember last year’s moving ‘Shukar Ka Ek Pal’, featuring Zahid Ahmed?), but it was the most thoughtful contribution to this year’s limited pool of Ramzan ads.
National Foods: A modern take on the classic Mohammad Ali Shehki and Allan Faqir song Tere Ishq Mein Jo bhi Doob Gaya, evoking nostalgia and familiarity among audiences. The ad effectively communicates the message that National Foods is an essential part of the Ramzan traditions of every household.
Coca-Cola: Their ‘Break Differences’ campaign focused on the universally shared experience of fasting, hunger, and the joys of finally joining in for iftari. The campaign steered clear of the usual tear-jerker storyline, adopting a light-hearted tone and emphasising the humour of a common Ramzan experience. The TVC ended by highlighting Coca-Cola’s commitment to donating a meal for every bottle sold.
SIUT: Their DVC with the talented Sajal Ali deserves special mention. It featured families from different ethnic and social backgrounds united by the challenge of bringing their children to SIUT for treatment. By highlighting the diversity of the families that benefit from the hospital’s services, the DVC ended with a call to action to help SIUT raise Rs 2.5 billion for a children’s hospital.
Knorr: Ever wonder why your children want to eat exactly the thing you don’t have? By highlighting the food-related crisis that hit our kitchens during Ramzan (and the rest of the year), Knorr’s ‘Save My Iftar’ campaign connected with every warrior housewife. Our heroine, chef Sarah Khalid, is a modern housewife grappling with such emergencies as running out of crucial ingredients (chicken khatam) or having to prepare sudden feasts (achanak iftari) for demanding children and uninvited guests. Like all medal-worthy housewives, she makes it look easy, with Knorr, of course.
Foodpanda: The focus was on the convenience of putting variety on the iftar table by showing how easy it is to order from home chefs, dhabas and restaurants through the Foodpanda app. The ad also promoted the spirit of the holy month by showing a family inviting their Foodpanda delivery girl to join them for iftar.
Kudos to these brands for holding up the flame of hope by producing campaigns that celebrated Ramzan. And for those brands that took a break, we hope you come back with a bang next holy season.
Shahrezad Samiuddin works in communications and is an agony aunt.