Snapchat, a place for everything that matters this Ramadan, by Snap’s Sandra Essa

By Sandra Essa, Product Marketing Lead - Brand at Snap Inc.

This year’s Ramadan is perhaps the most anticipated in recent years as communities truly return to togetherness after two years of subdued activities. There’s unmistakable excitement in the air as friends, families, and organizations plan to reignite Ramadan experiences.  A recent Snap Inc. survey showed that approximately 46% of our MENA community plan to participate in more celebratory activities this year than in 2021. About half also plan to get together more, invite loved ones over for iftar more, and engage with their neighbours more.

This group is also together on Snapchat more than ever. For brands that want to be part of these celebrations, there are both challenges and opportunities to own a Ramadan narrative and stand out. Brands can unlock real results by hacking the Ramadan celebration cycle on Snapchat in three key areas.

Hack #1 – Adapt to changing times

When planning for a campaign this year, remember that a lot has changed in the last two years in how people consume content. Middle East audiences are not looking to technology to replace their community. Instead, they seek platforms with the ability to bridge digital and physical worlds seamlessly while allowing for authentic communication. Audiences have embraced these immersive experiences to remain closer to the outside world during times of limited travel and interactions. More specifically, augmented reality (AR) has become a meaningful way to have fun, create new traditions, and connect. Last year, for example, more than one billion Snaps were posted to Stories during Ramadan, with people viewing AR Lenses on Snapchat over 90 billion times in KSA alone during Ramadan last year. Brands can easily tap into this behaviour by creating their own AR lenses using free tools like Lens Web Builder and Lens Studio. In Lens Web Builder, which is available in Business Manager, brands can tap into a library of templates and build an AR lens in a matter of minutes and share it with the Snapchat community through their public profile.

Hack #2 – Reach audiences at scale

Snapchat really is the one place for everything that matters this Ramadan—both for consumers and for brands. In addition to AR lenses, people are watching more of their favourite content on mobile. During last year’s Ramadan, MBC’s various Shows on Discover reached 18 million people. Overall time spent viewing Ramadan content on Discover also soared 33% year on year, showing the increased appeal of the vertical video format which Snapchat pioneered. Based on these trends, brands have found that scaling a multi-product approach on Snapchat during Ramadan (i.e. the combination of AR lenses and Video ads like Commercials in Discover) delivers 2.5x the brand awareness compared to a single-product approach and twice as much ad awareness.

Hack #3 – Look across the Ramadan celebration cycle

Hack the celebration cycle by starting early—even before Ramadan begins! Our research reveals that the Snapchat community in MENA is getting excited for Ramadan earlier than many others. More than 40% plan to seek inspiration for Ramadan celebrations three weeks or earlier before Ramadan begins, versus 27% for non-Snapchatters. One in three (36%) also say that they will start shopping three weeks or more before Ramadan. Meanwhile, people are planning to spend more. Over half (56%) of consumers we’ve surveyed expect to increase their spending on personal care products this Ramadan, for instance, and more than 40% say they’ll spend more on fashion, luxury products, and even groceries.  And remember, these celebrations do not actually end after only one month. Brands can also be part of the celebrations during the ten days following Ramadan covering the Eid Al Fitr festivities. The opportunity is there now more than ever.