A Guide to Marketing in Egypt after the Revolution
A Guide ToMarketing inEgypt After theRevolution Tips and tricks to help your brand develop a marke6ng strategy that will reach Egyp6an revolu6onaries
A Guide To Marke6ng in Egypt A=er the Revolu6on by Hannah Fleishman Hi! I’m a marke6ng maven who has lived all over the world. I spent 5 years in Cairo, Egypt-‐ a truly fascina6ng city. I graduated from Emerson College in 2012 with an Honors degree in Marke6ng Communica6on. Currently, I work on the Brand & Buzz team at HubSpot. To learn more about post-‐Mubarak adver6sing in Egypt, check out the accompanying text Marke&ng a Revolu&on. Contact me at hannahﬂeishman@gmail.com or on TwiEer at @hannahshambles
Contents Introduction 1! ! Chapter 1: Who Are Egyptian 2! Revolutionaries? ! Chapter 2: Where Can We Reach ! Egyptian Millennials? 6! ! Chapter 3: How Should Brand ! Messaging Change For Post- Mubarak Egypt? 9! ! Key Takeaways 12!
“ The Egyptian uprising was not just a revolution on social and political grounds, but also an unexpected revolution “ for brand marketing! Marketing a RevolutionT! he Arab Uprisings of 2011 spread across the Middle East like wildfire- a shared demand for democracy swept through the region leaving long-time political structures upside down. In Egypt, a revolution successfully toppled president Hosni Mubarak after 3 weeks of This e-‐book will share insights from Marke&ng a Revolu&on to help marketers re-‐evaluate adver6sing approaches in Egypt. Key insights include: both peaceful and violent protests amassing • A"tudes of Egyp/an to millions. Egyptians were euphoric in their Millennials victory. Within weeks, brands began creating revolutionary-themed advertising to capture • Take Digital Seriously the hearts and minds of the country. These brands’ including Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Vodafone, • Focus on the Future of the Mobinil, and Jotun, post-Mubarak marketing efforts shed light on an important issue: Revolu/on, not the Revolu/on marketers need strategic help in reaching the ‘new’ Egypt. • Egyp/an Millennials Demand Respect 1
Chapter 1: Who Are Egyptian Revolutionaries? Hint: A marketer’s dream…2
What Do We Know About This Target Audience?Egypt’s revolutionaries are largelyMillennials. ! “They are a generation 39%! of Egyptians are between waiting for better access to the ages of 15 and 34, that quality education, secure means…. employment, and the 32 million! financial stability necessary millennials to get married and start their own families.”! M live in Egypt. -PBR illennials define the generation born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. 40%! Egypt is experiencing a youth bulge, with half of its population under 25 years old. live below the poverty line, making less than! $2.00 a day! The majority of Egyptian Millennials have lived their entire lives with Hosni Mubarak and... as Egypt’s ruler- until the 2011 uprising. 90%!Young Egyptians demanding democracy and employment opportunities overthrew of unemployed Egyptians Mubarak and he resigned on Feb. 11th. are under the age of 30.3
“A generation Growing up under an unjust poli6cal system, Egyp6an strongly distrust! Millennials have grown to of Egyptians In their country, the rich authority.! got richer while the poor emerged that got poorer and there were few opportuni6es to break was untouched the cycle. by all the diseases of 88%! of Egyp6ans ages 15-‐24 said Figh6ng Corrup6on is a serious issue. Brands should disassociate themselves with authorita6ve despotism; a tones and forms of communica6on-‐ Millennials generation want to be in control. that was The revolution inspired a fearless and newfound national pride! would not take among Millennials. Under Mubarak’s rule, young people only waved their country’s flag during soccer games- now, the injustice in Egyptian flag is a ubiquitous symbol of victory. silence. These Egyptians are proud to be Egyptian, and they aren’t afraid to show it. young The revolution is considered Egypt’s youth Egyptians have movement, largely driven by Millennials. a courage and Their dedication and sacrifices for the cause make this generation feel ownership over! commitment to Mubarak’s resignation.! noble valuesSee an example of a brand that Millennials are quick to outcastthreatened Egyptians’ ownership any brand or organization that that ison the next page. tries to hijack their victory. difficult to explain” ! - Alaa Al Aswany What Are Their Attitudes?4
Case Study: Vodafone! In early January 2011,Vodafone launched an ad campaigntitled ‘Our Power’ where the brandshowcased Egyptians’ strength toovercome everyday obstacles. Threeweeks after ‘Our Power’ debuted, theEgyptian revolution began with theJan. 25th protest in Tahrir Square indowntown Cairo.Vodafone quickly hired agencyJWT to develop a newcommercial. The video impliesthat ‘Our Power’ sparked the After snippets of the protests and arevolution. voiceover announcing Mubarak’s resignation, words flash on the screen: ““We didnt send“They have condemned the advert as people to the streets, we didnt start the revolution. We only reminded Egyptians howa “sickening" attempt to push up powerful they are.” JWT posted thesales by "riding the revolutionary commercial to its YouTube account in April and within days Egyptian Millennials had tornbandwagon", and an insult to the Vodafone apart on social media channels. Thehundreds who died in the struggle to Website IHateVodafoneEgypt.com was launched and the same hashtag trended onbring down Mubarak.”! - The Guardian Twitter over night. Egyptians mocked Vodafone for attempting to take credit for the revolution- especially because the brand was one of several telecommunication companies that suspended service in Egypt at the height of the protests under Mubarak’s order. The video was quickly removed from YouTube and Vodafone released statements disassociating itself with the commercial. Bottom line for brands: don’t hijack consumers’ efforts.5
Chapter 2: Where Can We Reach Egyptian Millennials? Hint: The same place you’ll find most Millennials worldwide…6
15 million ! people are online in Egypt Check out a case study on the next page of a brand using the wrong marketing medium in Cairo. and… 80%! of them are between the ages of 17 and 30. “If three decades of violent That meants there are repression and despotic rule were kindling for the Egyptian revolution, social 12 million! Millennials engaging with online content. media was both a spark and an accelerant for the The Egyptian revolution proved just how embedded online communication is movement”- !Wired in Egyptian Millennials’ lives. The protests were largely organized via Twitter and Facebook. Brands need to connect with The interruption advertising Egyptians authentically via media outlets model is dying. Millennials don’t want they trust without dominating the content. to be told when and where they will be Brands still have an aura of authority and marketed to- this generation calls the need to be smart and respectful when shots. Traditional media like television, engaging with Millennials in Egypt. print, and radio feel too corporate for Millennials. They are going online to engage with content on their own terms. Egyptian Millennials Are Online-7 Is Your Brand?
Case Study: Pepsi! Graffiti in Egypt has become a vehicle of expression and freedom for Egyptian Millennials since the revolution. Depictions of martyrs, Egyptian flags, corrupt politicians and Arabic writings are found all over the streets of Cairo. Some artists even see the graffiti as a resistance towards companies using the revolution as a marketing tool. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Pepsi got lambasted by revolutionaries for taking their marketing efforts to the streets. Pepsi saw how engaged Millennials in Egypt were with self-express via street art; the brand attempted to acquire a ‘cool factor’ among Egyptians by advertising via street art. Pepsi painted “What Pepsi is doing now is bright colorful backgrounds with Arabic writing that read: “Express Yourself From not giving back to the Your Heart, No One’s a Match For You.” graffiti artists; they’re The positive words were ignored; Egyptians felt too violated by Pepsi taking over their saying we are graffiti artists canvas to care about the brand’s message. Infamous street artists responded to just like you, which is like the Pepsi’s marketing campaign by branding it with a message of their lowest of the low.” ! - Keizer, Egyptian own. Two prominent graffiti artist street artists covered the slogan with their trademark stencil of hummingbirds and ants. Underneath Pepsi’s writing, graffiti artists wrote “Spray Cans Are Never Exahusted” and placed competing brand logos over Pepsi’s, including Coca-Cola’s and Sinalco’s. Bottom line for brands: When choosing the right marketing vehicle,8 don’t try to be ‘one of them’ because you’ll always be a brand.
Chapter 3: How Should Brands Change Their Messaging For Post-Mubarak Egypt? Hint: Don’t focus on yesterday, but on…9
Brands in Egypt should focus their marketing messages on tomorrow. For the first few months following the revolution’s climax, brands pushed marketing See the next page for how one brand’s efforts campaigns that rode the focused on rebuilding Egypt’s future. revolutionary bandwagon. ! Messaging largely focused on joining the revolution’s momentum; commercials featured images of celebrations with Egyptian flag and urban landscapes that looked identical to Tahrir Square. Coca-Cola launched a campaign titled “Make Tomorrow Better” where young people do just that by pulling the sun out of the sky with ropes on a cloudy day. The slogan, like that of Pepsi’s “Express Yourself” campaign, is Coca-Cola’s way of joining in revolutionaries’ victory and agreeing with them that they are powerful. The problem is that brands didn’t play ! Advertisements communicating pride in the Egyptian people are ineffective because the brands behind them a role in the protests.! didn’t help the people during military clashes or during days of Tahrir Square sit-ins. Brands showed up at the party too late and missed all the fun. Instead of trying to jump on the happiness that’s already been created and experienced without them, brands should focus their marketing efforts on Egypt’s future because they still have the chance to be a part of that. Egyptians are experiencing a tricky transition where the future is unclear. Brands have the opportunity to join in that momentum- they just need to recognize that Egypt is a fragile environment right now.Brand messagiing in Egypt should be dignified and purposeful. ! “Consumers have In the past, advertising in Egypt has been largely centered around gimmicks and shock proved to be factors. Simple jingles are a common tactic in Egyptian marketing. Consumers in Egypt have intelligent and they proved, through the revolution, that they are smart people that can’t be swayed by have a voice now. entertainment or fads. Marketers should consider the strong demands and attitudes Theyre not stupid”! Egyptian Millennials expressed during the revolution and develop ideas that reflect this - Advertising Age strong character. 10
Case Study: Jotun! In March 2011, just one month after Mubarak stepped down as president,Jotun launched a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative to help clean upCairo’s streets. Jotun, one of the world’s largest paint manufacturers, offered itsproducts and services to paint areas in Cairo that had been neglected anddamaged by weeks of protests. The CSR campaign made no direct pitch for Jotunproducts beside using its own paints.“The way I see it, the campaign is all Regardless of the campaign’s execu6on, this respondent-‐ a young about their brand image. Granted, they Egyp6an-‐ thought the idea behind Jotun’s eﬀorts was ‘solid.’ Instead are aiding the public, but I personally of trying to steal revolu6onaries’ thunder or share the momentum, saw these people painting the streets, Jotun focused on the revolu6on’s a=ermath. Helping rebuild the city and they would work on the same spot was a message from Jotun to consumers that though their for months. The idea is solid, ! support was MIA during the but their execution wasnt top notch.” ! protests, they are here for Egypt’s future. - Egyptian survey respondentIf Jotun had executed this CSRinitiative more effectively,consumers may have generatedorganic buzz about Jotun viasocial media because the brandhad a productive message.Bottom Line forBrands: Associateyour name with avaluable message.11
Key Takeaways for Marketers! The revolution has been a You weren’t part of the way of life for Egyptian revolution, so don’t try to Millennials and their future join in now: Focus on the is riding on it: future of Egypt. Be sensitive this. to Egyptian Millennials Egyptian Millennials have feel strong ownership! proven to be smart and ! over the revolution: dignified: Your messaging ! Don’t try to take it should be too. from them. Not only are Egyptian Millennials online, “For many young Egyptians who they’ve proved social took great risks in Tahrir Square to media is one of their help bring down a dictator, the strongest allies: Be commodification of the revolution is smart when choosing the right media vehicle. offensive and stupid” -‐ NPR ! !12
How will you revolutionize your marketing?Thanks for reading this guide! I hopeyou’ll be able to apply some of thesetips and tricks to your own marketing. Don’t forget to connect with me on TwiEer at @hannahshambles or at hannahﬂeishman@gmail.com *The layout theme for this e-book is inspired by HubSpot’s e-book design