Successful Ramadan advertising relies on authenticity and engaging storytelling

This period is pivotal for brands to prioritise building recognition and loyalty, says L’Oréal Middle East’s Olfa Messaoudi

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and reflection, holds a significant place in the hearts and minds of millions across the MENA region.

According to Videnglobe’s recent report, online spending in the region during Ramadan steadily rose to 6.7 billion USD in 2023, marking a 9 per cent increase. Projections for 2024 anticipate further growth, potentially surpassing $7 billion.

This period presents a pivotal moment for brands to prioritise building recognition and loyalty by nurturing meaningful relationships and trust with consumers. It’s essential to explore Ramadan advertising nuances, particularly the impact of beauty content on the community during this period.


Beauty care experiences a surge in demand, with hair care emerging as the dominant category, closely followed by perfume, fragrances, skincare and makeup. In Saudi Arabia and other MENA markets, the allure of hair masks, especially DIY recipes like the popular TikTok hair serum recipes, reflects a fusion of traditional and modern beauty practices.

Perfume and makeup gain prominence, especially before Eid, as consumers focus on gifting and personal preparation. Additionally, skincare garners attention, highlighting the ongoing interest in maintaining healthy, glowing skin throughout Ramadan.


For brands embarking on Ramadan advertising, several key principles emerge as guiding lights. Embracing local context and consumer interests, crafting compelling narratives and prioritising quality over quantity are essential elements for success.

Understanding the nuances of consumer behaviour during Ramadan enables brands to tailor their strategies effectively and allocate resources accordingly. Successful Ramadan advertising relies on authenticity, subtlety and engaging storytelling, with entertainment seamlessly integrated into campaigns to resonate with consumers on a personal level.


Recent shifts in societal and consumer trends have prompted brands and marketers to continuously refine strategies for optimising campaigns. Understanding the discovery mindset and the demand for personalised shopping experiences, brands partner with platforms like META and Snapchat to create innovative solutions.

Partnerships with platforms like Snapchat, facilitating virtual shopping experiences, cater to the evolving consumer preferences for personalised and seamless interactions. This can be exemplified by our partnership with Snapchat, with the first virtual mall with exclusivity on beauty. This effectively reached 12 million users organically during Ramadan last year.

During Ramadan, Google data indicates that people exhibit higher online content consumption, increased search activity, and more internet usage on mobile devices. Video consumption peaks across platforms, with online video accounting for 50 per cent of time spent on Facebook and Instagram. YouTube emerges as the most popular video app during Ramadan, especially among GenZ audiences in KSA and UAE.

As brands adapt to these shifts, there’s a notable trend towards shorter content formats suited for social media platforms, particularly on mobile phones. With 61 per cent of video viewers opting for short-form videos to discover new products or brands, brands increasingly leverage mobile-centric strategies to engage with consumers during Ramadan and Eid.

Optimising for organic and paid search is essential, especially during Ramadan, when beauty searches surge. Leveraging platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Meta is crucial for discovery and shopping experiences, with 53 per cent of all beauty searches occurring during Ramadan in the GCC, according to Google Research Data 2022.

On these platforms, 83 per cent of users frequently find new and interesting items to buy on Snapchat. Additionally, e-retailers and pure players, particularly Amazon, experience significant increases in searches during Ramadan, with 1.56x in the UAE and 1.93x in KSA.


Looking ahead, it remains essential to dedicate an effort in understanding consumers’ ever-evolving behaviours in Ramadan to drive authentic engagement.

Ramadan presents a unique opportunity for brands to connect with consumers in the MENA region through thoughtful and culturally resonant advertising campaigns.

As Ramadan advertising continues to evolve, brands are navigating a landscape marked by shifting consumer trends and digital disruptions. Shorter formats and mobile centric approaches are gaining traction, as brands seek to engage with consumers across diverse platforms.

Embracing these changes while staying true to the essence of Ramadan fosters authentic connections and enduring brand loyalty in the hearts of consumers across the MENA region.

By Olfa Messaoudi, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer at L’Oréal Middle East