Ramadan drives online ad campaigns in the UAE this year

20.Nov.08. OOX News
Previously, online planners used to duck during the month of Ramadan waiting for the massive wave of TV advertising to pass before they saddled-up again with the hope of securing online advertising campaigns. The benefits of online advertising didn’t stand a chance in front of the TV Goliath, which has been a trend since the days when Saudi TV allowed commercial advertising.
This year, and for the first time, the trend seems to have been reversed in the sense that online advertising has significantly picked-up during the month of Ramadan to mark an unquestionable rendez-vous for online advertisers which will most likely become a new seasonality peak for the coming years. This trend has been confirmed by a leading source at LinkdotNet* who have witnessed an 82% growth in ad revenue versus last Ramadan across their online properties. 
The question remains, how can we look back at the month of Ramadan in retrospective to review the activity in details?  For the first time in the UAE, Subscribers to OOXmonitor.com can access the Ramadan 2008 online advertising activity and start analyzing the data. This is what we have done ourselves in order to write this report.

A quick count reveals the number of individual initiatives across categories that are Ramadan-specific: 40 new campaigns in 6 weeks.

The clear lead was to the Airlines category with a total recorded 8 initiatives, followed by Media & Publishing with 5 recorded initiatives. Automotive, Hotels & Resorts and Mobile Phones each scored an equal 3 initiatives.

Despite the fact that Airlines scored the highest number of initiatives, the campaigns where limited to email marketing.
The Media & Publishing category on the other hand was driven by TV stations promoting their Ramadan programs in the hope of drawing eye-balls from the Computer screens to the TV screens.

A sample of brands* that have featured Ramadan-specific campaigns:

* Subscribers can log-in to www.ooxmonitor.com to view the full list.

The top-five websites that have witnessed the highest number of online initiatives, in alphabetical order:

What makes the online medium interesting is the fact that it enables the proliferation of media placement ideas and executions that are the least classic. This section tackles a few examples where advertisers went beyond the impressions to attract eye-balls this Ramadan.
1.       Mbc.net Video on Demand channel “Powered by Etisalat”

Etisalat teamed-up with MBC to power mbc.net’s Video On Demand channel. An initiative that showcases Etisalat’s mobile TV and internet services in action.

2.       Al Hilal Islamic bank launches in Ramadan

Al Hilal bank cunningly capitalized on the month of Ramadan to launch an online campaign that encourages internet users to exchange branded e-cards. A campaign supported by banners and a snap sponsorship on Maktoob.com targeted both Arabs and non-Arabs.

3.       The Nokia Ramadan Micro site Campaign

Nokia launched a campaign across a multitude of websites to promote its Ramadan tailor-made micro-site: http://mea.nokia.com/ramadan.

The campaign creative provides an indication of the clear targeting that aimed at reaching primarily the local Arabs.

4.       Nakheel's "Thirsty" Ramadan Campaign

In line with the spirit of the Holy Month, Nakheel launched a charity drive to raise donations. The campaign was deployed in a multitude of ways using namely a sponsorship on MSN Arabia, video messages on mbc.net's VOD channel, Flash banners and a dedicated Microsite http://ramadan.nakheel.com/

It is worth noting that Nakheel was practically the only player in its category to run a Ramadan-specific campaign.

5.       du 3-in-1

When du launched their online Ramadan promotion, du Shop and du BlackBerry campaigns were not halted to make way. This has managed to give du a ubiquitous presence across the web in September minus the irritation effect that is usually accompanied by high frequency messages thanks to the multiple creative rotation.


-This report has been developed by OOX with the objective of showcasing the potential of the ooxmonitor.com data. Further data can be retrieved, manipulated and analyzed in more details by Subscribers.
-The online advertising monitoring service covers more than 30 websites (from which this report is derived from). For a list of websites visit www.ooxmonitor.com
-This report has used ooxmonitor.com UAE data as a source.
About OOXmonitor
OOXmonitor is a web-based service that provides competitive online advertising monitoring and alerts across a multitude of websites, categories, brands and campaigns. More than thirty local, regional and international websites are monitored daily in order to ensure a thorough and consistent coverage of the majority of the online advertising campaigns.
OOXmonitor is an innovative concept that has been designed to service the advertising industry with a current focus on the UAE market. The UAE has become our first ‘monitored’ market due to the fact that it is the home of the largest cluster of digital and online media agencies in the region. The UAE is also the leading market in the region in terms of online advertising activity, investments, initiative and usage.
In addition to the competitive online advertising monitoring, OOXmonitor offers competitive online ad alerts and an online creative ad bank.

To subscribe to OOXmonitor, visit www.ooxmonitor.com/m_register.php or call +971 4 4334924.

*LinkdotNet are the media representatives of msnarabia.com, hotmail.com, Windows Live Messenger in the Middle-East.

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