Nestlé and Amazon Ads found a delicious recipe for a Ramadan marketing campaign

When Amer Bolbol was growing up in Lebanon, breaking fast during the month of Ramadan meant having big meals with friends and family. “You never eat alone. During these 30 days you’re always going to different places—friends, family, everybody is hosting. And obviously, everyone is cooking a lot—making sure that there’s enough food for everyone and giving out food to the poor and the needy,” said Bolbol, the eCommerce Lead for Nestlé Middle East and North Africa. “That’s what the month of Ramadan revolves around.”

During the month of Ramadan, more than 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide fast from sunrise to sunset. And when they break their fast after sunset, families, friends, and communities come together to feast. Ramadan—and the weeks leading up to it—are some of the biggest sales months for brands like Nestlé.

Every year, Nestlé plans a big campaign to connect with shoppers as they prepare their meal plans in the weeks leading up to Ramadan.

“Most of the campaigns start in the weeks before Ramadan,” Bolbol said. “We see a big spike in sales leading up to Ramadan, which continues during the month. And in the last two years, more and more customers are shopping online and looking for bulk items and promotions online for Ramadan.”

For Nestlé, it’s important to be close to their customers during this time, and to “really understand what shoppers want when it comes to the different flavors of food they want in the market,” Bolbol said.

In years past, Nestlé would offer promotions and discounts, but in 2021, they worked with Amazon Ads to create an even more ambitious online advertising strategy to better connect with customers during Ramadan. Nestlé’s marketing strategy focused on four brands in particular: Sweetened Condensed Milk, Nescafe, Fitness breakfast cereal, and the soup and noodle brand Maggi. Bolbol said that, during the month of Ramadan, Maggi is one of their top priorities. “The first thing you break your fast on is usually dates and soup, so sales of Maggi usually skyrocket,” he added.

Cooking up experiences with customers during Ramadan

In late February of 2021, Nestlé launched its campaign that focused on sharing Ramadan recipes with customers using these four brands. Nestlé created a Ramadan specific landing page on Amazon’s store where customers could browse three different recipes for each of these four brands. For example, for Maggi, there’s a recipe for mandi that mixes chicken thighs with the brand’s spices and rice kit. Or for dessert Nestlé offers a recipe for a date tart that calls for their Sweetened Condensed Milk, “because dessert is a big part of Ramadan as well,” Bolbol said.

Nestlé Ramadan specific landing page

Nestlé Ramadan specific landing page

To help share these recipes with customers, Nestlé used a full-funnel strategy that included Amazon DSP and sponsored ads, along with hero and display ad banners on the homepage through the end of Ramadan.

Mangi recipe using Maggi

Mandi recipe using Maggi

Customers made Nestle part of their Ramadan festivities

As a result, the campaign drove nearly 20 million impressions during the time period through May 21.1 The click-through-rate of the campaign performed 425% above the industry benchmark, the video completion rate 72% above the industry benchmark, and the number of shoppers that landed on the landing page was 93% above the industry benchmark.2

“It was a great campaign that drove a lot of engagement— this was something that was really big and drove a lot of buzz,” Bolbol said.

“We want to excite people. And this is a campaign that helps excite our consumers. If you look at this campaign, it really gives you the nice look and feel of Ramadan. It creates a closer emotional connection with the consumers.”

— Amer Bolbol, eCommerce Lead, Nestlé Middle East and North Africa

Bolbol added that this campaign also helped show the creativity brands can have when advertising on Amazon.

“I think a lot of brands should try campaigns like these, especially brands that are really interested in creating excitement and engagement,” Bolbol said.

And for next Ramadan, which falls on April 2022, Bolbol said there’s room to go even bigger with even more recipes. After all, that’s another full month of meals to prep for.

Learn more about Ramadan marketing.

1-2 Advertiser provided data, 2021