Commercializing holidays is nothing new. But for its fourth Ramadan campaign, Benefit Cosmetics is making an effort to separate content from commercial.
In the past, the brand has highlighted makeup moments and products for its Ramadan campaign, which is typically its biggest marketing move of the year in the Middle East. This year, it decided to collaborate with nine regional influencers to create video content that speaks to the values of the holiday instead. Typically a time of togetherness, Ramadan marks a month of daily fasting from sunrise until sunset every day. In the absence of food and water, Muslims have the opportunity to reflect on the values of patience, generosity, forgiveness, and honesty as they go about their day. As such, Benefit Cosmetics selected a diverse group of influencers across platforms including YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to share their Ramadan experience with viewers through formats including daily vlogs or talk shows, plus features like Suhoor recipes (the meal consumed before fasting begins).
Digital engagement is key for many brands right now, as it represents the bridge to consumers at a time when physical communications are less likely due to the pandemic. Furthermore, a focus on principles over products aligns well not only with Ramadan, but with the state of the world as a whole at this time. Brands of all backgrounds, from beauty to beverages, have been experimenting with untraditional methods of connecting with the evolved consumer who is seeking something more sustainable than products. Neutrogena, for example, invested in an entire content studio of its own so it could more carefully curate communications surrounding important, yet often overlooked topics like the presence of skin cancer amongst African-American consumers. Pepsi, meanwhile, pinpointed its ad voiceovers to suit the needs of the often-overlooked older male consumer.