This Is How Coca-Cola Won Ramadan & Made History
Since 2011, Coca-Cola used to be the first to launch its campaign on the first day of Ramadan. This season, Coca-Cola’s strategy was to redefine the competition. First, they planned to release the campaign within the third week of Ramadan. But one week down the holy month was enough to flash a red light, something changed.
Advertising in Egypt in the last couple of years became an incubator of art, ads became products of entertainment and the competition between brands gathered a wide audience. That was the case for 4 consecutive seasons, until the focus shifted from crafting powerful ads to producing impressive visuals, it grew a bit old. Audiences fell out of love with hyper-stimulated nostalgia, excessive humor and humiliating charity ads. It became more evident that the only campaigns that achieved a powerful impact are those who took off that trend and employed authentic digital-driven advertising approach such as Crunch and Mobinil.
As brands escalated their game, the biggest player stepped in and instead of drawing its cards, it flipped the table.
The decision was to respond to what the market needed, exactly how it’s needed. Coca-Cola announced that it will not run its ads on Television, instead, they will go 100% digital ads and push the funds designated for media buying to help develop 100 Egyptian rural villages through Coca-Cola’s Egypt Livelihood Program that has been around for 4 years ongoing. (it’s real)
Now, let’s keep it real. Coca-Cola is not the kind of corporate that would pull such a move off out of a compulsive reaction. Without a doubt, this was a well-calculated senior strategy. It was laid out that something is coming up long before the activation, and that we should be ready for it.
In the way of laying this new ground to positioning itself as a credible, democratic and consumer-oriented brand, even before launching its ad, Coca-Cola showed us how powerful can social media interaction be, if done right.
Taking the risk won Coca-Cola loyalty and credibility among the Internet population, and that is priceless.
The campaign (#ثانية_تفرق), optimized by the its brand-new unique selling proposition, made its way to the top for 5 main reasons:
1- It’s relevant.
Prejudice is basically what’s wrong with Internet, cyber-bullying and hatred that fill the space stem from this destructive disease, there’s no better match to engineer a powerful digital social campaign.
2- It suits everyone.
Coca-Cola launched 4 copies, 3 of them are specified to case studies of different classes and societal backgrounds (Ebada, Ali and Ingy). The next day, they launched the final master copy, Yassin. Yassin’s case has a lot in common between Egypt’s vastly diverse classes as it shows how prejudice can affect a young man who lost his leg and uses a metal limb instead.
3- It looks real.
The ads were shot using DSLRs, the sets of action are neutral, there’s only minimal staging of action, camera motion isn’t linear. It gives a realistic atmosphere that adds depth to the statement.
4- It uses powerful visual storytelling.
The visual pattern goes like this: In the beginning, judgmental words pop up against sceneries of action that include the subject, but the subject is not visually articulate to the viewer. When the character of the subject is revealed, the scenery focuses on the subject’s face and his/her reactions through action. The viewer instantly connects to the subject on a primary human basis through non-verbal communication. The message is simple, prejudice is blindness.
5- It sounds familiar.
The voice behind this ad campaign is Essad Youniss, whose warm motherly tone brings back subtle emotions of family, tenderness and pierces through the heart with inspiration.
The day after launching the ads, Coca-Cola engaged the audience by asking them to be a part of the campaign, it urged people to post photos of themselves raising a finger opposing prejudice then post it to the hashtag #ثانية_تفرق. Each photo translates into an extra pound dontaed to development. Classic powerful social media work.
Coca-Cola’s #ثانية_تفرق is a historic landmark in Egypt’s advertising industry. It gives a role model to an anxious economy on how great advertising, brand strategy, bold digital marketing and aware corporate social responsibility can swiftly come together to deliver a work of art that sells.
Digital Strategist Ibrahim Gamal Eldin fuses a background in media production and political science with expertise in digital marketing to build full-fledged digital marketing strategies, Arabic and English online content, and creative direction for digital advertising. His portfolio includes 30+ clients including: Google, Sony Music, USAID, Kevin Spacey Foundation, Amr Khaled and Carole Samaha.