Ad Critique

Finding the values that truly align your brand to Ramadan

17, August, 2011


The context: During the month of Ramadan, Muslims make extra efforts to engage in good behaviour which includes acts like honesty and truthfulness. Sometimes acting true to conscience is hard, especially when no-one is looking. This is the case when fasting – as no-one can really know if you are fasting or not, if you sneak some food in your mouth.

The concept: A child is fasting and is tempted to buy a delicious drink on the way home. Whilst the vendor is making the drink the child is called by his mother on his mobile phone (XL of course!) He tells her that he is still fasting.  As the vendor hands him his drink he has a crisis of conscience, realising that he has given his word to his mother, and therefore he must stick to it. We see him ride off on his bike carrying the drink with him, the assumption that he will drink it later instead.  The advert flashes up the words: “Honesty is essential.” “It begins with a clear conscience.” It then goes onto say “It is audible in a clear voice.”

The campaign: This commercial was run as television adverts during Ramadan this year.

What we liked: The brand has thought deeply about the consumer benefit that it offers, and how that ties into the message of Ramadan. It ties the idea of ‘voice’ and ‘clarity’ together which both relate to Ramadan as well as mobile services. The concept doesn’t ‘jump on the bandwagon’, or appear to superficially usurp its message for commercial gain.  The message is uplifting and not preachy, staying true to the spirit of Ramadan. It also recounts a story that all Muslim consumers are likely to have faced in their own childhood. It shows that the brand understands the challenges of Ramadan. Most importantly it shows that the brand has an understanding of how the values  apply not just to consumers but also to the company themselves.