Cooking Oil Offers In Ramadan – Or Is It The Other Way Around?

Ad campaigns have taken a turn towards the spiritual as Ramadan commences in Pakistan. This holy month commemorates principles of abstinence of food and impure intentions, family gatherings, joy of helping the needy and honoring the institution of ‘brotherhood’.

Some cooking oil brands have romanticized these traditions in their Ramadan specific TV commercials. Here’s a line up of what’s out there:

1. Habib Cooking Oil

Habib Cooking Oil, handled by JWT Pakistan, greets the blessed month as an honorable family member with its slogan of “Khushamdeed Ramadan”. The TV commercial begins with a mother teaching her son about the importance of giving. It ends with women preparing iftari together using  Habib Cooking Oil, setting a long family table filled with delicious food while the whole family is thankful to be together in these auspicious days.

Habib has portrayed a fairy-tale ideal of a family that eats together and thus stays together. As the camera closes up on the foray of food, there is a certain lack of abstinence, which is one of the major principles of Ramadan. It speaks of extravagance rather than simplicity.

2. Kashmir Banaspati & Cooking Oil

Another Ramadan TVC concept launched by Interflow was for Kashmir Banaspati & Cooking Oil. Kashmir managed to get Shehzad Roy to endorse the brand, however this was the only positive that could be seen in the campaign. The slogan “Yehi Hai Jeeney Ka Maza” was not illustrated effectively in the commercial. The transition from Muslim brotherhood by assisting the impoverished did not seem genuine and the glamorous iftaar dinner left one desiring something more spiritual.

Both TVCs by Habib and Kashmir leaned more towards romantic ideals about Ramadan rather than resonating with the target audience about the connotation of the month. Habib may have persuaded a major portion of housewives to buy their cooking oil for their family, but Kashmir left one outright confused about their concept.

3. Mezan Cooking Oil

Another brand endorsement that is eminent this month is Aamir Liaquat’s with Mezan Cooking Oil. Its slogan, “Har Cheez Mezan Mein Achi Lagti Hai” delivers the notion of Mezan’s significance in Ramadan. Its print ad by Adcom announces a lucky draw prize of Umrah tickets, a spiritual journey to the house of God to a random lucky winner who purchases Mezan. A lucky draw could perhaps persuade a large number of consumers to at least buy one tin of Mezan.

4. CanOlive Cooking Oil

CanOlive Cooking Oil has also jumped onto the Ramadan bandwagon of smart offers with a ‘smart’ bargain of its own. With a simple suggestion to “Be Smart!” as its headliner, CanOlive has offered discounts on its various litre packs. The only Ramadan essence that could be seen was the color scheme and ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ type at the far right corner in Arabic script.

Major players in the cooking oil market in Pakistan have used Ramadan as a somewhat brand ambassador for their product. It remains to be seen which other brands have also done the same thing.