Like Ramadhan, the Hajj is a period where brands can celebrate the spiritual journey of their customers. Every year, millions of Muslims travel to Saudi Arabia to participate in the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage that serves as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. There, they make their way through several important religious sites, including Mecca, Medina, and Mina, to perform the required rituals.
The Hajj attracts millions of pilgrims from various nationalities, backgrounds, and socio-economic strata. Despite their differences, they all have the same respect for Islamic traditions and an understanding of shared values. This pilgrimage, for many, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, many of whom have saved practically their entire lives to fund.
By communicating messages that align with the ethos of the Hajj, brands can build goodwill and cultivate a positive brand image among Muslim consumers worldwide. This can include guides to necessary amenities, providing health and safety tips, or sharing notes of unity and harmony that resonate with the spiritual context of the pilgrimage.
For example, Paragon Technology and Innovation (Paragon Corp), the parent company of renowned Indonesian halal skincare brand, Wardah, announced a collaboration with Garuda Indonesia Airlines to enhance the experience of Umrah and Hajj pilgrims by introducing a special skincare product for Umrah & Hajj Packages, designed for those embarking on the sacred journey. In another, Dettol collaborated with the Saudi Ministry of Health and the most used Hajj app, “Salaam,” to help monitor health and hygiene during the Hajj or minor pilgrimage, the Umroh.
The Hajj also provides a unique opportunity for businesses to engage with a diverse and substantial audience through local OOH advertising. Citra Surya Indonesia (CSI), an Indonesian independent media agency, recently expanded its branding partnership in Jeddah, Medina, and Mecca to provide an exciting advertising opportunity in Saudi Arabia just in time for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage.
The collaboration offers a range of out-of-home advertising options designed to maximize visibility and reach across major cities in the country. Advertisers can take advantage of the double-sided billboards, LED Screens, and Unipoles in various strategic locations and flexible rental periods. With some of these digital offerings able to change messages throughout the day, companies can enhance their brand visibility, promote shared values, and contribute to the overall Hajj experience.
At first, it was directed at Indonesians, who are citizens of the largest populated Muslim country with the highest number of pilgrims every year. But soon, it found a much wider audience. For example, Indomie, the famous Indonesian instant noodle brand, proved popular with Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladesh pilgrims. Thus CSI began to creatively make more OOH ads in different languages, being part of the Hajj story equipped with geo-placement facilities to tell a more complete story.
Prami Rachmiadi, President Director of CSI Group, notes that sharing the celebration of the Hajj season and the Umroh year-round is a blessing as it allows brands to get closer to their customers in sharing their personal journey.
By striking the right balance between commercial interests and respect for the religious significance of the Hajj, advertising can play a supportive role in global affairs, bridging the gap between cultures and strengthening communal ties.
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