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When was the last time you started something new? – by Al Masaood’s Marwa Kaabour

Al Masaood’s group head of marketing and corporate communications, Marwa Kaabour, explains how the conglomerate’s Ibda’a campaign encouraged people to act on Ramadan resolutions

During one of the peak seasons for business, countless companies in our region spend long months developing Ramadan campaigns that befit the holy occasion. For many businesses, Ramadan is one time of the year that cannot be overlooked. But what do you do if you are on the corporate side and do not interact with customers directly? This is how we at Al Masaood decided to connect on a deep level with our external and internal communities and celebrate with them the values and spirit of the month.

Our insight: a universal truth

For our campaign, a primary insight was that Ramadan is a time for introspection as people tend to focus less on life distractions and luxuries, and concentrate more on emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. For many, Ramadan is the ideal time to reset, revitalise our relationship with ourselves, and perhaps start a resolution that we’ve been keeping the back burner.

The concept: Ibda’a

This process led us to the simple verb ‘Ibda’a’, the Arabic equivalent of ‘start something new’. After a brainstorming session, we identified common goals or actions that many of us have long wanted to start. Split into four main areas – physical health, financial freedom, setting & achieving goals, and practicing mindfulness and spirituality – these goals formed the pillars of our content.

Campaign aesthetics

For the campaign’s master artwork, we recreated our corporate logo in 3D with a visual texture reflecting the moon’s surface – connecting with Ramadan being a lunar month. Modern calligraphy was used to compose the campaign logo, showing thin lines phasing into thicker strokes replicating the moon changing from crescent to full moon. We also drew a connection with the year 2022 being expected to make history, as the UAE and other countries plan new lunar missions.


Our virtual majlis

Ramadan is a time for gatherings and spending quality time with friends and family. One common practice is the ‘Ramadan majlis’. To keep our campaign spirit alive, we hosted a virtual Ramadan majlis featuring authors and motivational speakers on topics related to our four pillars. The interactive sessions saw direct engagement, live Q&As, and polls between the speakers and attendees.

Physical health: To highlight our first pillar, we hosted motivational speaker and author Omar Al-Duri, who spoke about connecting our minds and bodies and resetting our mindsets to achieve better mental and physical health. Our second speaker on this topic was Dr. Hanan Selim, a healthcare specialist and international author who is also known as ‘the pharmacist of the future’. Dr. Hanan shared some hacks
to achieve holistic wellbeing by connecting our bodies and minds in everything we do.

Financial freedom: Tackling a stress point for many, we hosted Dr. Omar Fisher, a renowned financial expert, innovator and author, who threw a new light on defining the value of money and wealth, being financially savvy and finding the best route for future investments.

The power of setting goals & achieving them: Many of us have goals and resolutions sitting there untouched. Saahil Mehta, an author, passionate mountaineer and our majlis guest, highlighted the importance of decluttering our mind, body, relationships and material things in order to break free of any self-imposed limitations to achieving our goals.

Mindfulness and spirituality: In the last 10 days of Ramadan, as many looked to intensify their spiritual activities, we hosted coach and mentor Arsalan Al Hashimi to discuss mindfulness and spirituality. Arsalan introduced his methodology to help us achieve mental clarity and successfully transform from chronic stress to joy.

The platform

The campaign was carried on social platforms and managed by social media consultancy Digital Farm. Our content featured daily stories to keep followers engaged and involved, and to share our goal to start and spread positive change.

The CSR Side

The campaign also included a CSR side through our collaboration with the Emirates Red Crescent, where Al Masaood employees got an opportunity to volunteer in their ‘Break the Fast’ initiative.

Our campaign Ibda’a – through its internal and external activities – was an inspiration that changed many goals and sparked resolutions into a wide ripple of positive change.