Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Faith Trumps Fear this Ramadan

Advertising Agency
Jakarta, Indonesia
Brands must ride the wave of consumer optimism to build a strong resonance with the people says M&C Saatchi Indonesia

The people of Indonesia are waiting to celebrate Ramadan this year. The holy month comes at a time when the country is feeling optimistic with the arrival of vaccines, the opening up of the economy and freedom of movement.

“The last year has seen consumer behaviour change dramatically, as they coped with the pandemic. However, what’s unique about Indonesia is that business sentiment is low, while consumer optimism is higher than ever,” says Anish Daryani, founder and president director, M&C Saatchi Indonesia. 

“Fear and Fearlessness are the two key pillars that drive this sense of optimism. Following a great response to our Ramadan white paper in 2020, we wanted to present some bold insights to brands so that they could ride this wave of consumer optimism. The ideas presented in the white paper can serve as a shot in the arm for businesses to align with consumer expectations.”

The general sense of optimism has percolated the Indonesian consumer, its culture, the overall business sentiment and the country as a whole. 

Culture: After a year of painful separation from loved ones, the festival of spiritual reflection, will be met with the double the joy and anticipation and make the teachings of Ramadan of caring and compassion all the more relevant. 

Commerce: The season of gift giving will continue to see strong ecommerce activity that were formed last year, further buoyed by the prospect for income to improve.

Consumer: Social distancing has become a part of consumers’ daily lives and many will adopt this newly adopted safety consciousness to not only protect themselves but also others

Country: Indonesia’s response to Covid has built further confidence among its people that its government is doing the right thing for its people – whether it is by creating jobs and rolling out of the vaccines.

A fearless Ramadan

The occasion that brings friends and family together will have a significant impact in the way Indonesians will observe the festivities. 

- Freedom from fear have renewed faith in spirituality and this will mean an increase in digital donation. 

- Food, which is at the heart of celebrating and spending time with friends and family, will see dependence on delivery apps with 55% families ordering food, a habit that was formed from pre-pandemic times. For the other half of the population, with more time on hand, Indonesians are also looking to explore new skin care routines as well as taking part in workouts online. 

- Media consumption for entertainment, which typically increases during Ramadan, will remain core to gatherings during Sahur and early mornings. Streaming services saw 41% increase while TV viewership increased by 372% during Ramadan. 

- After a year of restrained spending, Indonesians are ready to indulge in shopping. Food & beverage, household, health, and electronics categories were the four most popularly searched for online. 

- Indonesians will continue to use video streaming to connect with their loved ones

- Domestic travel will resume, though cautiously, as private cars will be preferred over buses or trains

- Brand engagement with their consumers will be in focus as consumers will expect companies to demonstrate generosity and acts of charity  

- Of significant importance is feeling charitable and grateful to have overcome the pandemic. This year will see an increase in donations or zakat.  

Brand messaging in response to faith and fearlessness

Gratitude, a definitive theme: Brands must guide consumers in their journey of renewing faith through relevant stories of observing rituals, prayers of gratitude and being charitable, at the same time, demonstrate charity through their own actions. 

Giving back to the community: The lessons of Covid, when extended to Ramadan, can have a strong resonance with people who have collectively suffered from the pandemic – be it emotionally, financially, socially, or in other ways. Islam teaches people to contribute to their communities; a value which brands too must adopt and support causes consumers care about.

Connecting people: With 79% people staying connected with their family and loved ones online, brands must find ways to bring families together and create conversations that spread positivity and hope. By leveraging the right media channels, brands can build content to connect with consumers in more meaningful ways. 

A new meaning to purity: Islam as a religion upholds fitrah or purity – spiritual as well as physical. Covid has renewed the focus on health & hygiene which brands can adopt as their message towards creating safe places.

Creative solutions: The past year saw an increase in digital adoption because of isolation. Platforms like TikTok became a place to find respite, daily humour as well as health tips. Creative solutions that connect families, bring joy or make lives more comfortable, will win customer loyalty.

Measured celebration: After a year of restrained spending and celebrating, consumers are more cost conscious than before. Expenditures on consumables may not immediately increase and brands that will offer guidance in finding the right kind of gift as well as through discounts will be valued. 

Entertainment is the glue: Lively programmes have captivated audiences for years during Ramadan. As consumers increasingly spend more time on their mobile devices, they are now entertained by various content options, gaming being the primary choice. Multi screening will remain popular among youngsters who will use their mobile devices to stream music, check in on social media and read emails while watching TV.

Shopping: Some 79% of consumers are planning to buy goods only during the Ramadan month, up from 33% last year. Online shopping accelerated during Covid and further peaks during Ramadan with consumers visiting ecommerce sites during Sahur hours of 4am until 10am. Brands and retailers should find ways to keep their prospects engaged throughout, establish their relevance and leverage impulse purchases by offering discounts as well as by aligning with consumers’ media consumption and online search patterns through moment marketing. 

Assurances of return to normalcy: Virtual communications have kept people connected during the lockdowns though most can’t wait to meet with their friends and family in person. Brands who share assurances of a safe return to normalcy yet emphasising the need to maintain safe distancing will help people feel more optimistic.

Conclusion: With the roll out of vaccines, Indonesians are generally feeling optimistic yet must exercise caution. Combining messages of Ramadan as a time of self-reflection, purity, reunions and celebration, brands can build campaigns of gratitude, charity, health & hygiene and giving back to the community that will bring a sense of anticipation of better times to come.

Work from M&C Saatchi Jakarta
S.O.S Refugee