Ad Critique

Your devotion is my devotion: supporting Ramadan

30, June, 2011


The Iklhas campaign, by Maxis Mobile (Malaysia)

The context: The month of Ramadan is considered a time for spiritual journeying, and Muslims look for support in fulfilling their Islamic rituals such as prayer and fasting to time, as well as Islamic duties such as caring for loved ones.

The concept: Maxis launched a special sub-brand called Ikhlas in the Ramadan of 2008 for Malay (Muslim) consumers. The objective behind this was to celebrate the month of Ramadan and be part of each Muslim’s life journey during this holy month by offering them free content and discounted call charges to support their devotions.

The campaign: Print adverts were used, as well as five specially printed postcards containing elements of Ramadan: a general Salam Maxis (welcome wishes), Bersahur (meal before fasting), Berpuasa (fasting), Tarawih (prayers especial to Ramadan), and Berbuka (breaking of the fast). A memory card was filled with Maxis mobile content with Ramadan focused content to support Muslim consumers who were fasting. This included daily prayer times, a zakaat calculator, a Hijrah calendar, a guide to fasting and recitations from the Qur’an.

The memory card option was chosen for two consumer-friendly reasons: it is easy to use, just plug into the phone and play, and – aside from the cost of purchasing the card itself, a relatively low-ticket item – the content was free. Maxis also created a WAP micro-site called Salam Lebaran on the Maxis WAP Portal where customers can send and receive mobile content celebrating the Hari Raya (Eid ul Fitr) festive season from their mobile phone. Special calling rates were also introduced for people to call their loved ones.

What we liked: The use of the Arabic word ‘Ikhlas’ which means ‘sincerity’ or ‘purity’ immediately draws the attention of consumers to the connection with Ramadan, and that Maxis identifies with the ‘iklhas’ that they are trying to achieve as individuals. The content which Maxis provides is all useful and without gimmick. In addition, the easy to use delivery mechanism and the fact it is free support the ethos of Ramadan – that is, to be as helpful as possible in supporting devotion.  All elements, from the brand vision and philosophy to the product offer were in synergy to appeal to the Muslim consumer. The communication was heartfelt and inspirational, reminding of the sanctity of the month. The campaign resonated so well with the consumer that Maxis extended it to Hajj.