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Ramadan and TV time
Celebrants are expected to consume even more TV than usual this Ramadan due to August timing. Adrian Murphy reports
August 1, 2011 12:14 by Eva Fernandes
When the sun sets across the Arab world on the first day of Ramadan millions of dollars of advertising revenue will kick into gear as commercial breaks punctuate the post-iftar diet of soap and entertainment served up on our TV screens.
Long deliberated over by the region’s media planners and cloaked in secrecy, or at least kept under wraps, the year’s most important campaigns and sponsorships could generate up to 20 per cent of annual revenue.
New products will launch while old favourites such as Vimto will reappear during what some planners liken to the Superbowl in terms of marketing exposure.
OOH advertising also takes on a new dimension as malls stay open until midnight (and later for supermarkets) and food items upstage grooming brands for visibility.
Closely guarded secrets will be revealed, especially on TV, as to which brands have spent their budget where and at what time, and executives will watch tentatively for signs that their six-figure sums have been invested wisely.
This year, however, planners are also having to take into account the Arab Spring, the August heat, possible annual vacationing and economic recovery for Ramadan 2011.
But the traditional aspects of the Holy Month ensure it will continue as the peak season for ad spend and the subsequent revenue it promises.
TV is by far the most popular medium with 80 per cent of the total monitored spend during Ramadan ending up on the screen. The leading sectors are telecos, food-FMCG, automotive and finances – in both the GCC and Egypt.
These sectors hand over more than $30,000 for a 30-sec TVC post iftar and millions of dollars to sponsor a hit show.
And they do so because it is their chance to make an impression on the consumer who works shorter hours and is likely to spend more time with the family watching the special TV shows companies have invested in for Ramadan, such as the hardy perennial Saudi sit-com Tash ma Tash.
“Consumers’ daily activities undergo a paradigm shift during the Holy month of Ramadan,” says Shaharyar Umar, marketing director, PARC.
“This means the average time spent watching TV goes up significantly with shorter duration programmes, such as serials, dramas, sitcoms, soap operas and religious programmes, in high demand.”
Anything up to 60 new shows will be aired during Ramadan on 400-odd