Our Blog

  • Ramadan voices from around the Ogilvy Noor network: Malaysia

    We’re continuing our Ramadan reflections from Ogilvy Noor around the world. Combining local insights with personal experience, it’s a chance to get close up on a month that brings together families, communities and enhances spirituality, through the lens of Ogilvy Noor’s deep experience in building relationships with Muslim consumers.

    You can read our previous blogs from Bangkok, the UAEIndonesiaPakistan and client Mondelez in Pakistan.

    Today, we immerse ourselves in Ramadan in Malaysia, from Ogilvy Noor’s Farris Baharom who is based in Kuala Lumpur.

    The onset of Ramadan is felt in many peculiar ways in multicultural Malaysia.

    One of the most pronounced is a total change in traffic patterns. Morning commutes become a breeze as people start the day earlier for “sahur” (suhoor, the meal before fasting begins) and therefore begin heading into the office earlier, easing the morning jams.

    But as early as 4pm, roads become congested as people begin to rush home early to prepare the family meal. Later on in the evening, the roads remain busier for longer as the faithful head to and from mosques and “surau” (smaller community mosques) for the late night tarawih prayers.

    For a nation of foodies, Ramadan is also another occasion for us to celebrate the joys of food.

    Hotel dining rooms and restaurants of every kind everywhere are reconfigured to cater to crowds of people for “buka puasa” (breaking of fast) buffets. Forget trying to get a reservation anywhere good on anything less than 2 weeks’ notice.

    “Barams” (abbreviated Bazaar-Ramadan) also pop up on roadsides, parking lots and housing areas across the country. Huge crowds of people from all walks of life, every race and religion throng to these packed bazaars in search of something new and interesting to sample. Others go hunting for those special Ramadan-only dishes and delicacies before they disappear for another year.

    Back in the office, relaxed hours are offered to Muslim employees but few actually take advantage of this beyond the first day of fasting. Even during Ramadan, this remains the country where more than half the population works in excess of 8 hours a day.

    When combined with the nature of our business, what typically happens is a short buka puasa break before work continues.

    Later in the month, this ritual will evolve into more formal affairs with clients and partners and of course, the annual Agency do.

Comments are closed.