On December 6, 2022, The Drum announced on its website that “Tesco’s Ramadan billboard wins top prize at The Drum Awards for Out of Home”. The campaign titled “Together this Ramadan” promoted solidarity with Muslims and was very well thought out and planned.
Tesco is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the United Kingdom. There are about 4 million Muslims in the country who observe fasting during Ramadan. In 2018, Ramadan spending in the UK was worth more than £200m to the UK economy.
However, the festival is frequently misrepresented or completely absent in British media, with many UK Muslims believing they are frequently portrayed negatively or stereotyped.
Tesco is not immune to making mistakes and if you are from the UK, you may remember the 2017 Christmas TV ad that made both Islamophobes and Muslims unhappy. They, however, seem to have gotten their 2022 Ramadan advertising right.
Top-Notch Digital Billboard Advertising Strategy
The Drum, who are the initiators of “The Drum Awards for Out of Home”, which Tesco won in 2022, explain:
… with the Muslim community often feeling misunderstood or unheard, the brand set out to change this and Ramadan was the most important moment to do so, celebrating and supporting the Muslim community while educating and raising awareness among non-Muslims.
Tesco used smart data to place their digital billboard in key Muslim hotspot areas in West London, Birmingham, and Bradford. However, what was really fantastic about their billboards is that they used day-and-night technology to display images and messages appropriate for when Muslims were still fasting and different ones after Muslims broke their fast. That way, no fasting Muslim would look up and see a 14 feet high and 48 feet wide digital version of pulao or biryani (popular rice dishes from South Asia) while they were still fasting.
This is what the digital billboards looked like:
According to The Drum, the campaign resulted in a 275% increase in Tesco and Ramadan mentions on social media, and Muslim consumers absolutely loved it. The net sentiment (the net value of total positive mentions minus total negative mentions on social media) was even stronger than that of Tesco’s 2021 Christmas campaign +13 versus +12.
There Was More!
Along with the billboard campaign, there was a social media campaign that featured Tesco stocking up on relevant products and sharing recipes. The social media campaign and in-store presence expanded on the billboard message by offering practical and entertaining ideas for enjoying Iftar (the meal that breaks the fast), throughout Ramadan.
Tesco’s Ramadan campaign digital board was created by BBH London. Helen Rhodes, who joined BBH London as Executive Creative Director, from BBC, in 2021 said:
Our creative ambition was simple, to create work that is not only representative but also gave a voice to our Muslim creative industry.
In an interview on LBB Online, BBH London’s Ciara Boyle (Creative Art Director) and Chloe Neal (Copywriter) summed up the following:
The response has been incredible. This campaign has sparked conversation amongst both Muslim and non-Muslim communities across the UK and further afield. It’s been shared by numerous publications with a combined reach of 10.4 million in the UK, France, and Turkey, with lots of positive sentiments across social media.
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