We are confronted with it on a day to day basis; on television, on the radio, in
magazines, on the internet, on the streets, just to name a few examples. Advertisement is
all around us, we as consumers are the ones who influence the ads and are the ones who
are considered when ads are being created. The general idea of advertisement is to get
people to trigger the consumer to act, in other words, promoting the product or service in
a way, using various methods and techniques that will make them consume that product
or service. Creating an advertisement is easier said than done. The process of creating an
ad involves principles, criteria, and strategies which consist of making fundamental
marcom decisions (such as targeting, positioning, setting objects, and Figure 1. First AICHA Tomato
budgeting), as well as making the fundamental implementation
decisions (mixing elements, creating messages, selecting media, and
In this paper a marcom program of the Moroccan brand “AICHA”
will be researched and analyzed by looking at the fundamental marcom and
implementation decisions, and by answering several questions which will
give us a narrowed view of its marcom strategy and its effectiveness.
The Product: AICHA
Created in 1929, AICHA is one of the most popular brands in Morocco today.
AICHA was created by the Frenchman Mr. Cibut, the owner of the first AICHA products
who initially exported them to France. It initially started with the production of apricot
jams, and later it expanded its production to the popular strawberry jams, tomato paste,
olive oil and sunflower oil, truffles, and has created seventeen different kinds of jams.
Below are some of the achievements AICHA has obtained regarding its production:
Table 1. Achieved Honors by AICHA Products
1996 Innovation Prize
1997 Oil Prize
1998 Best Packaging Prize
1999 Innovation Prize
2000 Jury Grand Prize &Oil Prize
2002 Canned Vegetable Food Prize & Best Packaging Prize
AICHA is one of the very first Moroccan products to advertise on both radio and
television. With the help of television commercials, AICHA products have increased
their popularity with the Moroccan market. The cartoon commercials of a young girl
making AICHA jams are the most popular advertisements that they have created and that
are recognized by many. The 1995 quot;Without Youquot; commercial has even won AICHA the
special jury prize at the Moroccan Advertisements Film Festival. For this project, the
advertising strategy for all the commercials of AICHA jams and tomato paste will be
Below is a brief description of the content of five of the AICHA commercials that
were broadcasted on the Moroccan television.
Commercial # 1
This is one of the oldest commercials of AICHA jams, showing a young girl
picking a basket full of strawberries making jams in the kitchen. Through her magic
spoon she is bringing the strawberries and sugar cubes to life, mixing them in a pot. At
the same time they are showing some young kids watching the girl who is making jam
from outside, whom the girl later invites in her house and whom she shows what she has
been making. The commercial finishes with a large pot of AICHA strawberry jam as a
result of the mixing shown before. The commercial also contains a song that is especially
written for AICHA.
Commercial # 2
This cartoon commercial shows a young boy coming home from school and going
to the kitchen to eat some AICHA marmalade. He finds out that there is no AICHA left
and gathers all his friends together. They then march, with different musical instruments
in hand, to the AICHA store where a young girl hands the boy a pot of AICHA
marmalade. This commercial introduces other kinds of AICHA jams.
Commercial # 3
Another cartoon commercial by AICHA, only this time it is for their tomato paste.
They show tomatoes being washed, selected, put into their cans, and shipped off to the
big city where they will be sold. An interesting aspect of this commercial is that they use
popular Moroccan music adapted to the AICHA tomato as their background theme.
Commercial # 4
This tomato paste cartoon commercial takes place in the kitchen basically
showing the different dishes you can make with the AICHA tomato paste. A dancing
tajine is shown along with spaghetti and hrira.
Commercial # 5
This commercial shows the creativity of the people of AICHA. They chose to
make a commercial involving Algerian Raï artist Cheb Khaled, known for his song
“Aicha”, to promote AICHA jam. It shows a dark empty space with big neon light in the
background spelling AICHA. There is a table and a chair situated in the middle of the
space and on the table sits the cartoon AICHA girl. Cheb Khaled is singing his “Aicha”
song as he approaches the girl and sings to her. They end by showing the AICHA product
in the end.
Before starting the analysis of the IMC of AICHA, a definition will be provided
“Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is a communications process that entails
the planning, creation; integration; and implementation of diverse forms of
marcom that are delivered over time to a brand’s targeted customers and
prospects. The goal of IMC is ultimately to influence or directly affect the
behavior of the targeted audience. (…) IMC requires that all of a brand’s
communication media deliver a consistent message. The IMC process further
necessitates that the customer/prospect is the starting point for determining the
types of messages and media that will serve best to inform, persuade, and induce
action” (Shimp, 2007, p.7).
The people of AICHA chose to use cartoons in their television commercials for
both the jams and tomato paste. This is the most effective way of advertising the products
assuming that the majority of Moroccan have a television set at home and receive the
ground channels RTM and 2M. Furthermore, the Moroccan culture relies mainly on
visualization, meaning that Moroccan recall brands better when seeing them. Taking the
large illiteracy rate into consideration as well as the unpopularity of reading, it is more
effective to advertise through television than by other types of media. This however does
not mean that advertising through print media is not used; yet, the television commercials
are more effective in the Moroccan context.
Identifying the target audience or market is the most crucial part of creating a
marcom project. When you identify the target market you create the rest on the intended
market. In order to breakdown the target market for AICHA jams and tomato paste we
will breakdown indicators of behaviors namely demographics, geodemographics,
psychographics and behaviorgraphics.
Table 2. AICHA Jam Indicators
Table 3. AICHA Tomato Paste Indicators
According to Shimp, “advertising works as a potential method of meaning
transfer by bringing the consumer good and a representation of the culturally constituted
world together within the frame of a particular advertisement” (p.122). In other words,
the meaning that is integrated into an advertisement for a particular advertising campaign
depends on the cultural context. In this case, we can say that AICHA takes the Moroccan
culture into consideration when targeting the consumer behaviors for their advertising
Jam is frequently used as an ingredient to make ad sweetness to, for example,
cake, pastry, pancakes, and bread. These products are often consumed during breakfast
and afternoon snack time. AICHA chose to target primarily young audiences by the use
of cartoons in their television commercials. Children often like to eat something sweet,
and that is why AICHA uses children in their cartoons and memorable tunes associated
with cartoons. Furthermore, the jam commercials are often broadcasted before, during,
and after the cartoons that children watch every day after school; an interesting note is
that the jam commercials are not broadcasted during the evening.
Tomato is a core ingredient in Moroccan cuisine and is almost used in every
traditional Moroccan dish, and the use of tomato paste has facilitated the preparation of
several dishes. It can be said that AICHA tomato paste targets people who cook, mainly
women if we take the Moroccan context into consideration. They demonstrate how the
tomatoes are selected and washed which shows the quality of their product, which will
influence the costumer’s behavior into becoming a consumer.
Brand Message, Visualization & Slogan
Figure 2. AICHA Girl and Logo
“A brand represents a name, term, sign, sumbol, or design, or a combination of
them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or
group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of
competition” (Shimp, 2007, p.32). AICHA has chosen to use a
young girl with braids in the jam ads, respectively giving her the
name Aïcha, to represent its products. The logo and the girl have
been created in 1976 by the animators of the popular strip
cartoon, Astérix, Gosciny and Uderzo. According to El Abassi,
the choice of the name AICHA created by Mr. Cibut, has an unknown source which
nobody knows except Mr. Cibut himself. The logo that is used is written in big and
simple but recognizable letters in blue (see figures 2 & 3). AICHA has a fairly unknown
slogan namely “AICHA, on aime ça” often used in their jam ads.
Figure 3 AICHA Girl
The Moroccan dialect (darija) is used in the two
cartoon jam ads using simple and memorable lyrics that
people will easily recall; the same goes for the two tomato
paste cartoon ads. However, AICHA made use of an English
song “Without You” in the 1995 jam ad that won them the
special jury prize at the Moroccan Advertisements Film
Festival; at the end of the commercial they use a couple of lines in French.
The choice of using the Moroccan dialect was smart because the audience is
easily appealed to the lyrics of the song that has been created for the ad. The people of
AICHA took into consideration that not everybody understands French or classical
Arabic, and that the Moroccan dialect is the way to go in order to reach people from all
social classes. Also, regarding the tomato paste ads, AICHA used Moroccan popular
music (chaabi) to appeal to the public. With that they complete the full circle of targeting
everybody in every age group: the very young using child like tunes in the cartoon jam
ads, the young adults using Cheb Khaled and an English song for the other two jam ads,
and the adults using popular Moroccan music for the tomato paste ads.
The message that AICHA wants to send is that is has the best quality jam and
tomato paste. In the visualization and the memorable music and lyrics, AICHA is
portrayed as having the best ingredients and selection procedure for their product. It also
represents the element of fun.
Several kinds of appeals are used in advertising in order to convey a specific
message to the consumers. Humor, sex, fear, sophistication, fun, and a lot of other kinds
of appeals are used to attract the consumer’s attention. As mentioned in the descriptions
of the different AICHA commercials above, three kinds of appeals, as mentioned by
Shimp, are used in their advertising strategy: music, celebrity, and humor.
As stated by Shimp (2007), “jingles, background music, popular tunes, and
classical arrangements are used to attract attention, convey selling points, set an
emotional tone for an advertisement and influence listeners’ moods” (p.320). AICHA has
implemented this strategy by using popular Moroccan music also known as “Chaabi” in
the tomato paste commercials trying, as Shimp stated, to attract attention and influence
the consumers’ moods. Furthermore, the popular Raï song “Aïcha” by Cheb Khaled has
been a smart choice to appeal to the consumers because they knew that a lot of people
will recognize that song. AICHA aimed by the latter to influence the consumers to relate
the song to their product.
As mentioned above, AICHA deliberately used the famous artist Cheb Khaled to
promote their product because of the association of his famous song “Aïcha”.
“Advertisers and agencies and their agencies are willing to pay huge salaries to
celebrities who are liked and respected by targeted audiences and who will, it is hoped,
favorably influence consumers’ attitudes and behavior toward the endorsed brands”
(Shimp, 2007, p.302). After consciously targeting small children in the beginning, 1976,
of their production, AICHA decided to optimize their target audience by using Cheb
Khaled as a tool to reach young adults in 1997.
Finally, there is the element of humor that is used in the AICHA tomato paste
commercial. “Advertisers turn to humor in the hopes of achieving various communication
objectives gaining attention guiding consumer comprehension of product claims,
influencing attitudes, enhancing recall and advertised claims, and creating costumer
action” (Shimp, 2007, 310). The use of cartoons automatically represents an element of
fun which one can find in the short story that is illustrated in the commercial, for
example, a dancing tajine, a painter who misses the bucket and paints his friends head, a
boy who falls through the window out of curiosity, and so on.
Brand Recognition, Recall & Equity
In a small informal experiment that was conducted with ordinary people from
different ages living in Ifrane, we have come to the conclusion that one hundred percent
have either answered AICHA when they were asked to relate a brand to either jam or
tomato paste. Therefore, it can be said that AICHA reached the TOMA stage among the
four levels of the brand awareness pyramid. It was also noticed that when people were
asked to give another brand name related to jam or tomato they could not come up with
any at that moment, however, when given a name like Delici, Baraka, and Sbaa, they
recognize the brands. Thus, we can conclude that AICHA is a leader in its specialties due
to the TOMA stage. It can also be said that AICHA almost has a monopolistic position in
the Moroccan market that people do not even need brand recognition or brand recall to
refer to the brand. Below is a figure that shows the brand awareness of the product in the
market compared to other products that are popular in Morocco.
Figure 4. Brand Awareness
(source : www.aicha.com)
From the analysis above, it is noticed that AICHA has reached a level of brand
equity. Brand equity, according to Shimp (2007), “is enhanced when consumers become
familiar with the brand and hold favorable, strong, and perhaps unique associations in
memory about the brand” (p.18). The fact that AICHA is associated to jam and tomato
paste, and the fact that most people remember the songs used in the commercials is
enough to conclude that AICHA has reached brand equity. Brand equity is also about
representing values; in the case of AICHA, referring to the television commercials, we
can say that it represents the value of fun.
Considering the three benefits a brand might represent, functional, symbolic or
experiential, AICHA does not aim on symbolic benefits because AICHA is not a personal
beauty product, jewelry, or vehicle that has a symbolic value to it in people’s life.
However, regarding the functional and experiential benefits; we can say that AICHA
products are of best quality and thus good for our health representing the functional
benefits of the products. Also, taking the experiential benefits into consideration we can
say that it adds taste to the meals which means that we enjoy our food more.
The weakness of AICHA’s television ads is that they lack new creative ads that
will keep their momentum going. In the past, AICHA has been effective in creating new
ways of memorable television advertisements that appealed to consumers. However,
when taking a look at the future of the television ads that are used now, they will not be
as effective or appealing to the consumers because of the new way consumers will
perceive products. In other words, the taste of consumers will change over time and their
strategy in attracting new customers and keeping old ones will be more difficult for as the
consumers will be more demanding when they will choose the products they will buy.
Despite the fact that they are almost monopolistic in the market, in order for
AICHA to keep its momentum, we suggest that it starts rejuvenating its advertising
strategy to keep its popularity among the people. Using a benchmark strategy, the
telecommunication company WANA, used for their “Bayn” service the now popular
Moroccan hip-hop group “Fnaire” to promote their service. As AICHA did in 1997,
WANA used the group’s popular song “Yed El Henna” where the words “bayn” were
mentioned to promote the “Bayn” service to youth.
Overall, it can be said that AICHA is a very good product from Morocco. It
scores very high on the brand awareness scale, and it has shown to be a good quality
product. Regarding its advertising strategy, we can conclude that is use interesting and
appealing ways of advertising, however, it is desperately in need of renewing the way it
wants to convey its message. People are not always aware that there are other kinds of
AICHA products apart from the tomato paste and strawberry jams. The people of AICHA
need to keep their eyes on the future and start being creative again in order to keep their
momentum. Even though AICHA does not need to worry about competitors in the market
because of their reputation, it would be nice to see AICHA trying to be innovative and be
remembered for its constant innovation as Morocco’s most famous brand.
AICHA. (2003). Aicha: Serving the Good Taste, Since 1929. Retrieved March 20, 2009,
El Abassi, N. (2006). Confitures Aïcha, 44 ans que ça dure, et 10 tonnes ecoulees chaque
jour. Retrieved March 20, 2009, from http://www.lavieeco.com/histoire-des-
Shimp, T.A. (2007). Integrated Marketing Communications in Advertising and
Promotion. Mason: Thomson, South-Western.