Ad Critique

Unwrapping the reality of Muslim experience: we’re lovin’ it

5, June, 2011

The context: During the day in Ramadan in Indonesia, restaurants and food outlets cover their windows to help fasting Muslims to avoid temptation.

The concept: McDonald’s recognises that food is a temptation to Muslims whilst they fast. Their Ramadan campaign is an effort to support Muslims in completing their Islamic duties.

The campaign: Food commercials were aired the week before Ramadan began, and then during the fast period, the exact commercials were re-run, this time with food wrapped in McDonald’s wrappers to avoid ‘temptation’. This ‘wrapping’ was replicated in-store on the translite images and the iconic 3D Golden Arches outside. At the time for breaking fast, the images were changed to reveal the food and the arches were ‘unwrapped’, so Muslims would know it was time to eat.

What we liked: McDonald’s has recognised the all-encompassing nature of Muslims’ devotion to Ramadan. Their campaign is supportive of efforts to complete the Islamic ritual of fasting. But more than this, it shows a deeper understanding of what they are experiencing – in this case temptation – in order to reach their goals. The campaign shows itself as a partner to Muslim consumers in their aspiration to be a good Muslim, whilst at the same time retaining its own core brand value of offering mouth-watering food. The campaign showed sensitivity to the Muslim calendar and timings by being aware of when Ramadan started and the timing of sunset. This also highlighted they were in synch with the Muslim mindset. Finally, they used an integrated campaign on TV and in-store, which demonstrated that this wasn’t a PR gimmick but a strategy that was genuinely in support of their Muslim consumers.