Insightful opinions on how to brand it right this Raya.
Imagine this: Driving to your hometown for hours with your family and finally arriving at your nenek and atuk’s house. Waiting eagerly for your cousins to arrive to light sparklers. The smell of rendang wafting in the air as you receive your first duit Raya of the night. For some, it’s the memory of getting teary-eyed from watching advertisements that hit close to home. Everyone might have different ways of celebrating Raya, but one thing’s for sure, the idea of unity and togetherness will remain.
To get different insights for this occasion, we caught up with a few of our Heroes – Elaine and Mior, who are both in the Strategy Team, Hanie from the Client Servicing Team, and Syakira from the Video Team. Each of them come from different backgrounds and celebrate Raya in their own ways. They were asked about what Raya means to them and what they think brands should do in order to connect with their audience and create a lasting impression. Here’s what they had to say:
1.What does Raya mean to you?
Hanie: Raya is when everyone in the family gets together and spends some quality time, while we do all the cooking and eating.
Mior: Raya is a moment of celebration and togetherness. A moment where family and friends get together. It’s the time to nurture a stronger bond with the people close to us.
Syakira: Raya means victory in the month of Ramadan. This time period is used as a way to physically and spiritually purify oneself in order to bring the faithful closer to Allah.
2.What’s your favourite part of the Ramadan-Raya season?
Elaine: My favourite part of the Ramadan-Raya season are the Ramadan bazaars and the mall decorations.
Hanie: Best part would be visiting the Ramadan bazaar and opening fast with the whole family.
Mior: My favourite part of Ramadan-Raya is the food, because it’s the centre of ‘sahur’, ‘buka puasa’, and open houses.
Syakira: Going back to my hometown, cooking for Raya preparations, the smell of ‘kuih Raya’ in the oven, trying on Raya clothes, and singing Raya songs while being stuck in the traffic jam.
3.How was Ramadan different for you last year, given the lockdown?
Elaine: Having to break fast alone at home instead of with my boyfriend.
Hanie: The biggest difference would be not going to bazaars like previous years or going out to open fast. I cook more at home instead.
Mior: ‘Buka puasa’ was totally different before lockdown. Normally, I would ‘buka puasa’ with my family or friends. And we would take this opportunity to reunite and create a stronger bond with each other.
Syakira: I miss going to the mosque and praying ‘tarawikh’. I also miss the Ramadan bazaars.
4.What are the common misconceptions about Raya and how does these affect brands’ Raya marketing?
Hanie: Perhaps not the most common misconception, but I do have some friends who are not Malay and think that this is purely a religious celebration. They aren’t aware that it is also very cultural and can be celebrated even if you’re not Muslim.
Mior: Marketers perceive that Ramadan and Raya are similar. In truth, Ramadan is a moment of charity whereas Raya is a moment of forgiveness, celebration, and reunion. I think a brand should create a journey from the first day of ramadan to the end of Raya. Each phase expresses a different kind of emotion and situation.
Syakira: Raya is all about religion, family, relationship, and emotion. Without these elements, the younger generation might not understand the celebration like we do and might misinterpret the meaning of Raya.
5.How can brands connect better with consumers during this season?
Elaine: I believe that brands should consult with Muslims when it comes to ads during this season in order to avoid committing cultural faux pas.
Hanie: Perhaps a rewarding/give back/charity kind of campaign, which in a way can be helpful to those who are in need, or simply make others feel appreciated.
Syakira: I think brands should incorporate a few childhood memories that’s associated with Raya preparations such as ‘bakar lemang’, ironing numerous sets of ‘baju Raya’, and queueing to shower to make the audience feel nostalgia.
6.What’s one tip you would offer when it comes to Raya campaigns/marketing?
Elaine: Practice more mindfulness in campaigns/marketing. Most brands love using Raya elements to sell, sell, sell, when Raya is actually all about gratitude and togetherness. There’s no harm in promoting sales during Raya, but I feel like there should also be a balance in giving back.
Mior: I think that brands should consider the factors that are relevant to the Malaysian Muslim community, such as the Malay language and specific culture references and try to incorporate them into the ads.
Syakira: Raya songs are a must and ideas should be close to our hearts. It’s all about missing the hometown memories.
7.Aside from films, what other innovative ideas or executions can brands consider implementing to strengthen relationships with its audience?
Elaine: I would love to see more brands talk about Raya culture rather than caricatures as recent ads love to do. Influencer marketing definitely works, but we could look into having Muslim influencers tell real stories and highlight Muslim brands.
Hanie: Interactive and personalised content that are still related to the Raya theme would resonate with the audience better. For example, maybe a social media campaign that uses UGC marketing.This gets people to engage with the brand and get rewarded or be featured in their ads.
Mior: Instead of just doing films that are 3 minutes long, why don’t we split it to 5 or 10 seconds per video? This way, the video can target consumers based on their behaviour online and relevant interests. I really hope to see this kind of campaign for Raya because it rarely happens in Malaysia, as we are too focused on making film-style advertisements.
8.Share with us your favourite Raya campaign.
Elaine: I like Grab’s 2020 Raya campaign. Grab gave out 1.5 million GrabRewards Points to users who sent their first three GrabPay e-Duit Raya transfers. Grab also partnered with various charities and non-profit organisations to encourage people to contribute as it’s part of the Muslim tradition of ‘sadaqah’.
Hanie: I personally find humorous and #relatable ads more memorable. For example, last year’s #RayaStyleLain with vivo. I like how they mentioned all the things that most Malay families would do when preparing for Raya, and still connect to the whole pandemic situation. Meanwhile, the USPs of the product/brand image are also captured.
Mior: Have a look at PNB Raya ad from 2000s. I really love dissecting this ad. It’s simple and speaks to the right audience with the right message. Another one of my favourites is the Tesco Raya campaign “Raya Jimat, Raya Selamat”. Tesco also understands their audience by creating deals, like recipes and contests on their platform. One day, I would like to plan a Raya campaign that will knock someone’s ‘songkok’ off.
Syakira: A memorable ad was “Ikhlas” from Pelaburan MARA that was made in 2017. I chose this because the raw emotions and struggles of ‘balik kampung’ during Raya are relatable to all Malaysians who celebrate Hari Raya.
Need help for your upcoming Raya campaign? Get in touch.