Comparable to almost all major public holidays in the United States such as Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving, the holiday of Eid Al Adha has created a boom of consumerism across many different industries within the Muslim world. Marketers need to understand how to effectively aim their marketing efforts towards this holiday in order to take advantage of the many
opportunities which accompany it. To successfully reach your target audience, it is important to know the facts that are covered in this guide, as appearing insensitive or ignorant about this holy day could be a damaging mistake for your business. In this all-encompassing Eid Al Adha guide, we will explain what the holiday is and how to maximize your reach towards the Muslim world.
What Exactly is Eid Al Adha?
To best understand the needs of your target audience, it is important to understand the significance of this holiday for Muslims. Eid Al Adha, pronounced EED al-UHD-huh, is the Islamic holiday that takes place on the 10th day of the last month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. It is directly translated as the “Celebration of Sacrifice” and is meant to represent an event written in the Quran. Allah (Islamic God) appeared to a prophet, Ibrahim, in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his only son, Ismail, to prove his obedience. As Ibrahim was about to perform this command, Allah intervened by giving him a lamb to sacrifice instead. To commemorate this religiously symbolic action, Eid Al Adha was born.
On Eid Al Adha, Muslims around the world attend their local mosques to universally join in prayer. Dressed in their finest, new celebratory clothes, they spend the rest of the day socializing with family and friends as well as exchanging gifts. Charity is also a big part of the holiday and it is customary to donate a significant sum of money to charity, to be used to help the poor purchase new clothes and food, so they too may join in on the celebrations.
One of the most well-known parts of this holiday is the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca. Muslims in good health and who are financially able, are required to do this pilgrimage once in their lifetime, with over two million Muslims completing the Hajj annually. With many people needing gifts, new clothing, transportation, and hospitality, Eid Al Adha is the perfect time to expand your business reach.
So, We Heard About an Animal Sacrifice?
Yes, you did hear correctly. The most misunderstood part of the holiday for non-Muslims around the world is the animal sacrifice ritual. To pay remembrance to Ibrahim and Ismail, Muslims partake in the practice of slaughtering an animal, known as “Qurbani”.
Families will either visit farms themselves, arrange an animal at stores, or even purchase an animal online to sacrifice. The meat from this sacrifice is given away to represent charitable giving. One third of the meat is eaten by the family and their relatives, one third is given away to friends, and the remaining third is donated to the poor.
Eid Al Adha 2019 Marketing
Eid Al Adha follows the Islamic Lunar Calendar which is different from the Western calendar you are most likely familiar with, as this holiday falls on a different date each year. For 2019, it is important to know that Eid Al Adha begins on the evening of Saturday, the 10th of August and ends on the evening of Sunday, the 11th of August. Each country observes the holiday slightly differently, so make sure to Google the dates for the country/countries you are aiming to reach.
Eid Al Adha is a public holiday in several countries including the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Jordan in the Middle East as well as Malaysia and Indonesia in Southeast Asia. This holiday is extremely important for Muslims, with a potential market reach of 317 million customers in the Middle East alone. Even in some European countries and regions in the United States, Muslim employees and families will take the day off from work or school to observe the holiday.
Iconic Symbols of Eid Al Adha Commonly Used in Advertisements – Crescent Moon and Star
The crescent moon is the international symbol of Islam, as visible on many Muslim countries’ flags. These countries include Turkey, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and Algeria. The symbol itself is comparable to the cross in Christianity. According to the lunar calendar, the first crescent moon seen each month signifies the first of each month in the lunar calendar. Due to the symbol’s strong association with Islam, the crescent moon is probably the most recognizable image used in advertisements for Eid Al Adha.
For any visual advertisements, one should consider using the crescent moon. The star is also often included in Eid Al Adha images.
As previously mentioned, animals and animal sacrifice play a large role during this holiday. Many companies use animal images to draw attention to this aspect of the holiday. Notice that the images used below are aesthetically pleasing and often caricatures of animals that don’t show any blood or slaughtering taking place are used.
Halal Symbol for Food
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted, that is generally in reference to food. The Qur’an (the holy book for Muslims) has explicitly outlawed eating several foods. Thus, Muslims are very conscientious about which foods they do or do not eat. Certain foods such as alcohol and pig products are not allowed. Muslims are only permitted to eat meat that has been prepared according to Islamic law. There are a variety of laws dictating how the slaughter should take place such as: the slaughterer must say the name of God before making the cut, emphasizing the sanctity of life. For those in the food industry, placing a halal symbol on some of your products, when in accordance with the rules of the Islam, could be an effective way to get more Muslims to purchase your products. Organic and free-range products are also seen as of value to Muslims and could therefore be integrated into an advertising strategy. Just make sure that your products actually are halal.
As giving to the poor and needy is an important part of this holiday, many shoppers want to make feel-good purchases. As a result, an effective Eid marketing strategy is to emphasize charitable activities from sales. For example, you could convey a message such as “To celebrate our Muslim friends, we will be donating 5% of our profits to hungry individuals for the next week”. You could also think abstractly such as publishing an article entitled “Eid Al Adha Inspiration: Recipes you’ll want to cook for your family” and “The Eid Al Adha gift guide for younger relatives”.
Here you can see imagery that invokes the act of giving, without any controversy.
Not really a slogan… More of a message. “’For example, you could convey the following message, “To celebrate our Muslim friends, we….
More actionable than an idea? Or would you prefer idea?
Mosques and Minarets
As the mosque is a place of worship for Muslims, it is a beneficial symbol to make use of in a marketing campaign. Praying at the mosque during Eid Al Adha is an important part of this holiday and therefore you are bound to grab people’s attention. Minarets are the tall slender towers from where the call to prayer is emitted.
Bright Lights/ Lanterns
Lanterns are a symbol that have become associated with Ramadan celebrations. However, the use of this symbol has caught on for Eid Al Adha as well as the element of celebration is regarded as a bright, celebratory event to share with loved ones. Lanterns, strand lights and lamps are hung up throughout the streets, and many associate them with the holiday, thus a suitable symbol to use in advertisements.
Respecting Culture in Your Marketing Messaging
Throughout the Muslim world, there are thousands of cultures that exist in different capacities. However, the basic level of respect is necessary throughout all marketing messages, as Islam is a religion that is rooted in tradition. Using an offensive/ derogatory marketing campaign can be detrimental and may even result in a loss of business. To be successful, marketers need to use a culturally sensitive and respectful approach in their messages. As Eid Al Adha is a holiday which commemorates sacrifice and obedience to the religion, it is very emotionally and spiritually evocative to Muslims. Thus, it carries with it an extra necessity to be respectful and in accordance with customs and beliefs.
It is also important to note that there are two Eids. Eid Al Adha is not to be confused with Eid Al Fitr, the day that signifies the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. This Eid is referred to as the “greater” of the two Eids, meaning it is more important and holy to Muslims. If you want to get a head start on next year’s Ramadan plans, you can read more about how to prepare for it .
Below is an example of a catchy tag line which does not offend.
The Importance of Digital and Mobile Marketing During Eid Al Adha in 2019
Since Eid Al Adha is a time away from work and an increase in quality time with friends and family, desktop usage decreases, while mobile usage increases. It is advisable to keep this in mind when designing .
Eid Al Adha Commercials
The following commercials on YouTube are suitable examples of effective Eid Al Adha marketing. Each of these have various themes that should provide you with ideas you could for own business. The following commercials target Muslims located in various countries, ranging from Oman, Bangladesh and Malaysia, as around the world, this holiday is portrayed as a sacred holiday for Muslims.
This advertisement focuses on the theme of giving, light, friendship, and glamourous clothing. It is a suitable example of how to make a classic Eid Al Adha video.
This video shows the important role that acquiring quality clothing and accessories plays during this holiday.
This advert shows people buying new clothes for Eid Al Adha and how the mother could buy a present for her daughter.
Technology and Communications:
The beginning of this advert shows a part of the holiday with sheep. The video combines the Islamic tradition with technology and is a good example of incorporating Islamic traditions into the present.
This is a very heartfelt Eid Al Adha advertisement that emphasizes the importance of family and giving.
Messages to use for your Marketing
Greetings are a large part of Muslim culture, even though they may To show that you are respecting the holy holiday, it could be beneficial to use a personal greeting when addressing your target audience. Here are several examples of phrases you could use:
Eid Mubarak technically means “blessed festival” and is used not just during Eid Al Adha but during other Muslim Holidays as well. Eid Mubarak is also used throughout advertising efforts and seems to be more of a generic message such as saying “Seasons Greetings” over Christmas time.
This is similar to Eid Mubarak and means “have a happy Eid”
This greeting does not have a holiday specific meaning as this phrase means “peace be upon you”, and is a standard greeting among Muslims, whether in a social or worship context.
Final Note: Given that many of these seasonal sayings are directly taken from Arabic which is a different alphabet, there could be variations in the English spelling of the phrases. However, the varied spellings are accepted and understood.
Products that Sell Well during Eid Al Adha
The increased rate of consumerism surrounding this holiday means a noticeable increase in the amount of goods and amenities that are bought. With that there are a few product categories that tend to perform the best during this season that we cover below:
As a large part of Eid Al Adha is spending time with family members, food is inherently significant in the celebration. Recently, the fast food industry has capitalized during the Eid Season as families move from elaborate, traditional meals to quickly catered meals. The ability to quickly feed many people means they can spend more time with family and less time in the kitchen. As a result, the Middle East has seen a boom of fast food chains opening recently. with everything from local companies to foreign ones. However, the art of traditional meals is not yet gone, and many families still spends billions of dollars in grocery stores to ensure they have food to accommodate all of their guests. If you are a food company, make sure you read the above section on “halal”.
We already mentioned that the Hajj is an integral part of this period, but the travel industry in general receives an Eid Al Adha boost as well. Many Muslims choose to return home to their birth places during this period. For many in the Middle Eastern diaspora, this means buying expensive tickets back to their extended families in the Middle East. But many other Muslims aspend that long holiday weekend celebrating Eid abroad in either Europe or Asia. If you are in the airline, tourism, or hospitality industry, you could think about providing special incentives or deals for the Eid Al Adha period. Using some of the other tips in this article, you could market a successful, cultural vacation for either families or solo travelers. Online marketing plays a huge role in this, as traveling arrangements are almost exclusively online now.
It is customary for Muslim men, women and children to dress in their best clothing while performing Eid prayers and during visits. Across the Middle East, clothing continues to be a major percentage of Eid spending, with Middle Eastern designers saving many of their best sales during the holiday season. Although many of these stores are in physical locations, many online retailers participate in Eid sales as well.
this holiday period, jewelry is an important consumer aspect for this holiday period. Because many Muslim women wear hijabs and modest clothing, many feel that accessorizing with some jewelry is an additional way to express themselves. Thus, people buying both for themselves and others is a common part of this holiday. It is important to note that expensive jewelry made out of pure metals or containing rare gemstones is also seen as a lucrative investment for many Muslim families. Although not exclusively an accessory, watches are also a popular item among men.
As this is a time for gift giving, electronics are also readily purchased both for adults and for children. The MENA region is a very digitally connected region, and that is reflected in the increase of electronics sold during this period. If you work in the technology industry, it is an ideal time to advertise to the Muslim world.
The volume of livestock trade at this time of year is enormous. Different news stories always come out around this period, showing the breaking statistics for animal migration during this time. For example, in 2016, approximately one million goats were sent from Somaliland to Saudi Arabia, making history as one of the largest livestock trades however. More than just goats, both cows and sheep are traded as well. In Pakistan, a country of a population around 210 million people, nearly 10 million animals, worth more than $3 billion are bought and sacrificed annually. You can thus imagine the amount of money that is spent on this part of holiday throughout the whole Muslim world. Your products could potential be useful if you imagine a trailer for humane livestock transport, tools for proper sacrifice, etc. An Indian E-Commerce site made headlines for auctioning animals with famous Bollywood names for a hefty price tag. Get creative.
Best times to Market during Eid Al Adha
The period leading up to Eid Al Adha is the best time to market. As people are finalizing their travels and preparing to buy goods for their family members, the few weeks leading up to the holiday is the most lucrative time. However, you can also choose to market during the holiday period as well, as many are caught up in the spirit of the holiday and choose to make more purchases.
Marketing Eid Offline in the West
You don’t need to get on an airplane or the internet to market towards Eid. The United States has an estimate of anywhere from 2-7 million Muslims, and the United Kingdom has a number that is estimated around 4 million. Thus, you can market for Eid right at home. For example, supermarket chains in the West sell more Halal foods during the Ramadan and Eid periods. This is a big deal in cities such as New York where Muslims constitute a decent percentage of the population. You can look up if your city has a big Muslim population and try to do things like put a sign outside your store advertising halal food. Even in terms of gifts and nice clothing, even a simple sign such as “Eid Mubarak, Muslims, come on in” will show that you have cultural awareness and bring Muslims through your shop’s door.
Now that you have gained further insight into the holiday, you now know that Eid Al Adha is an opportunity for marketers. We hope that this guide will allow you to make informed, culturally aware decisions that will ultimately yield successful for your businesses.
Written by: Jennifer Lundt