Welcome aboard to our journey to unveil what Egyptian audiences are made of! We’ll discover the irresistible charm that makes its audience unique and captivating. Imagine a blend of cultural richness dating back over 7000 years, cozy family ties, and love for lively festivals. Now throw in a generous helping of mobile-first digital behavior, a pinch of social media, and a dash of video content enthusiasm – and voila! You’ve got the beginnings of understanding Egypt’s dynamic and multifaceted ethos.
Dive deeper, and you’ll uncover even more – an e-commerce boom that has changed the game of shopping, a love for emotional storytelling that tugs at the heartstrings, and an appreciation for localized, homegrown content. Egyptian consumers know what they want and how they want it – quality at the right price, a deep-seated love for football, and brands that wear their hearts on their sleeves through social responsibility.
Buckle up as we delve into this intriguing landscape, and discover the tantalizing blend of features that create an utterly unique Egyptian audience.
Fact #1 A Culture Infused With 7000 Years of Epic History
No one does ‘old’ quite like the Egyptians. Boasting a civilization that spans an awe-inspiring 7000 years, they’ve had quite a head start in developing tastes and trends. With such a rich legacy steeped in history, modern-day Egyptians proudly wear their heritage and consumer behaviors on their sleeves. This love for their ancient roots profoundly shapes their responses to brands and their penchant for content related to their grand historical past.
Think of the breathtaking architecture of yesteryears – the majestic pyramids and ethereal temples. Far from being relics of the past, their influence resonates powerfully in today’s Egyptian aesthetics. Peek around, and you’ll spot echoes of these iconic designs in everything from modern buildings to logos and packaging designs. Sprinkling elements of these architectural gems can distinguish between a campaign that sinks in the Nile or one that sails smoothly down its course.
Now, let’s delve deeper into Egypt’s treasure trove – the captivating myths, tantalizing legends, and riveting historical narratives that make up its cultural fabric. Egyptians adore a good tale spun well, a fact that clever marketers have cottoned onto. Drawing from this rich source, they weave narratives into their campaigns, infusing them with the mystique and allure of ancient Egypt. Nothing captivates an Egyptian audience quite like a marketing story spun with a twist of their beloved history.
And if you think this is all talk and no action, look at EGYPTAIR’s genius video from 2020. They took the oh-so-dry topic of safety instructions and transformed it into a visual feast featuring a model styled after ancient Egyptian women. Coupled with locations and scenes that bring the ancient civilization back to life, this video is a masterclass in how to charm your audience. Take notes, folks. This is how you do it right:
Fact #2 A Society Wrapped Up in Family Ties
Italians are known worldwide for one of their most important value: La Familia! Well, Egyptians certainly don’t fall behind! Family ties don’t just bind in Egypt. They pretty much tie everything together. It’s all about the family, from the most minor decisions to the most significant milestones. If you want to make inroads into the Egyptian audience, the secret lies in understanding the role of the family unit.
Picture a typical Egyptian household – a bustling hub of multi-generational interactions where decision-making is collective. When making a purchase, it’s a group event where everyone from grandpa to the youngest sibling weighs in. Marketers who tap into this familial dynamic with campaigns that appeal to everyone, from toddlers to grannies, stand a better chance of winning the Egyptian audience’s hearts (and wallets). Show your product or service as something that benefits and binds the family, and you’re onto a winner.
Trust and word-of-mouth are vital to the Egyptian consumer. When it comes to buying something, they value the opinions of their family more than any glossy advertisement. Intelligent marketers leverage this trust factor by incorporating family members’ testimonials, reviews, and endorsements into their campaigns. The message is clear: If it’s good enough for Uncle Ahmed, it’s good enough for you!
Watch how Elaraby Group nailed it with their Mother’s Day campaign 2016. They captured the essence of family bonds with a heartwarming song, “Shokran Ya Omy,” sung by children. If that doesn’t make you go ‘Awww’, we don’t know what will! Watch the adorable video here:
Fact #3 Reveling in the Magic of Festivals and Celebrations
Egyptians are a festive bunch, aren’t they? From observing sacred occasions like Ramadan, Eid Al Adha, and Sham El Nessem, to our more local celebrations, Egyptians dive into each event with unmatched enthusiasm. These joyous occasions offer golden opportunities for marketers to align our campaigns with the festive spirit, capturing our fellows’ attention and purchasing power.
During these times, a strong gift exchange tradition is a launchpad for countless creative marketing strategies. Promoting products and services as the ideal gifts for loved ones allows marketers to tap into the joy of giving and receiving. We can fully embrace and capitalize on the collective gifting culture by positioning specific products or packages for festive occasions.
Another exciting aspect of the festive spirit is the significant surge in social media engagement around these times. Egyptians usually see targeted social media campaigns, exciting contests, and engaging interactive content during celebrations. It’s all about riding the wave of festive buzz, encouraging participation, and building conversation around brands. The savvy use of trending hashtags, engaging challenges, and strategic influencer collaborations are some go-to tools to boost visibility and engagement.
A standout campaign that perfectly encapsulates this strategy is Vodafone’s “El 3ela El Kebera” from 2016. It’s a fantastic example of how we can craft marketing magic around our cherished celebrations. Ready for some inspiration?
Fact #4 The Power of Humor and Wit
Who doesn’t love a good laugh? Egyptians are renowned for humor and quick wit. It’s part of the charm and culture and translates beautifully into our marketing efforts. A funny joke, a clever pun, or a witty comment sparks engagement and makes memorable campaigns. As marketers, we can generate a whirlwind of user engagement – likes, shares, comments, and potentially viral content – by incorporating humor into our digital campaigns.
But the role of humor in marketing strategies extends beyond just a good laugh. It’s about creating an emotional connection between our brands and consumers. When we see a campaign that makes us chuckle, it’s not just the joke we remember – we remember the brand that made us laugh. This familiarity and positivity foster a sense of loyalty and advocacy for the brand, fueling the potential for increased customer engagement.
As with all things, timing, and appropriateness are essential for humor. Well-used and good humor can create a positive brand perception, contributing to organic reach and word-of-mouth marketing as our audiences share content with their friends and family.
Cook Door’s 2017 campaign for its new #Gangwich sandwich selection is a masterclass in this. Using humor and wit, they created a campaign that introduced a new product and left a lasting impression. Check out the campaign here for a dose of humor-infused marketing done right.
Fact #5 Football Fever: Captivating Egyptians
Football holds a special place in the hearts of Egyptians, and it has become an integral part of their culture and lifestyle. The sport is more than just a game – it’s an integral part of the national identity. According to an Ipsos survey in 2022:
51% of Egyptians declare being passionate about Football.
In response, marketers often gear their strategies toward soccer-related events and themes, tapping into the widespread enthusiasm and passion reverberating throughout the country. Egyptian fans resonate with advertisements that depict emotional narratives around football, focusing on passion, camaraderie, and triumphant moments. This emotional storytelling helps brands establish a stronger connection with their audience, leaving a lasting impression and driving consumer engagement.
Football is a hot topic on Egyptian social media platforms. Marketers tap into these conversations by curating football-centric content, sharing match highlights, player interviews, and expert analyses. They also engage fans with real-time updates and lively discussions. Social media is the ultimate playground for football-related content, allowing brands to engage with a vast audience and cultivate brand loyalty.
A classic example of this approach is Coca-Cola’s campaign as Egypt’s national team advanced toward the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The campaign played on fan loyalty and national pride, urging Egyptians to show their support for the team. The national team’s jersey, adorned with the Arabic name of Egypt, “مصر”, was a potent symbol of this call to arms. See the campaign here.
Fact #6 Egyptians Are Value-Driven Consumers
Egyptians are discerning consumers, exhibiting high price sensitivity and a keen eye for value. As such, they’re more likely to be swayed by discounts, special offers, and promotions. Marketers well-versed in the consumer psyche deploy price-based incentives—think percentage discounts, buy-one-get-one-free deals, or bundled packages. These tactics are designed to craft an image of increased value and potential savings, which resonates strongly with the value-conscious Egyptian market.
When it comes to buying, Egyptians are meticulous researchers, frequently comparing prices and evaluating their online and offline options before they open their wallets. Their focus is finding the golden balance of quality and affordability. Aware of this, marketers must highlight their product’s quality, durability, and unique features to justify the price.
Influencing Egyptian consumers isn’t just about price, however. Product reviews and recommendations from friends, family, and online communities carry considerable weight. Egyptians value the opinions and experiences of others in their decision-making process.
Jumia’s campaign for Black Friday 2022 serves as a great example of these principles in action. The ad, framed in Jumia’s signature comedic style, considered Egypt’s economic climate, inflation, and challenging exchange rates. By positioning their Black Friday sale as a much-needed financial relief, they appealed to consumers’ need for mindful spending, offering tempting deals within their reach. Check out the campaign here:
Fact #7 Echoes of the Heart: The Power of Emotional Storytelling
In the rich fabric of Egyptian culture, feelings and narrative come together to form a captivating story that resonates with beliefs, hopes, and encounters. Marketers should tap into this narrative, recognizing that audiences seek products and services and authentic, sincere connections that resonate with their needs and desires.
Imagine the power of a marketing campaign that speaks to the heart, echoes cultural pride, and resonates with Egyptian society’s rich traditions and values. This is the essence of emotional storytelling, a strategy that aligns a brand’s narrative with local customs and shared experiences. It’s not just about selling—it’s about connecting and establishing trust. And the result? Deeper loyalty, stronger brand-consumer relationships, and a genuine sense of trust.
But emotional storytelling does more than connect—it helps us stand out in the competitive marketplace. A story that moves people is a story that gets shared, generating word-of-mouth recommendations and potentially going viral. These emotionally compelling narratives extend the reach of our marketing message, creating a widespread impact.
One outstanding example is Juhayna’s 2014 campaign, a touching tribute to Egyptian mothers that garnered 3.3 million views on YouTube. It’s not just about the views; it’s about the shared smiles, the tears, the collective nod of understanding—a testament to the power of emotional storytelling. Watch the campaign here and witness how a story well told can reverberate through the heart of society:
Fact #8 Kindness Counts: Taking on Social Responsibility
Egyptians profoundly appreciate brands committed to social causes and contribute positively to societal well-being. Brands that effectively communicate their social impact often find a special place in the hearts of Egyptian consumers, driving buying decisions and brand loyalty.
Brands engaged in social responsibility initiatives gain favorable views from Egyptian consumers. Egyptians esteem brands showing social consciousness, community care, and commitment to creating positive change. Such brands are perceived as trustworthy, ethical, and caring, enhancing their brand image and fostering deep consumer loyalty.
Consumers in Egypt are more likely to share their positive experiences and endorse brands actively involved in social responsibility. When a brand makes meaningful contributions to society, consumers often become brand ambassadors, spreading their positive experiences and urging others to support such socially responsible brands. This positive word-of-mouth propagates awareness and credibility, enhancing the brand’s image. This influence can give brands a competitive edge in the marketplace.
An exemplary case of social responsibility is Unilever’s “Kamel Karamak” initiative. Initiated by Lipton Tea and Knorr in 2017, the campaign aimed to educate the public about food waste during the holy month of Ramadan, promoting charity over waste. Watch the initiative here:
Fact #9 A Homegrown Approach: Embracing Localization
Understanding the local culture and adapting your messaging to align with it is akin to learning a secret handshake—a clear sign of respect, a nod of understanding, and a firm welcome to the Egyptian consumer. Localization is adapting a brand’s language, appearance, and offerings to fit a particular market—in this case, Egypt.
Marketers establish a deeper connection by speaking in the language of our audience— Egyptian Arabic—and incorporating local references and nuances in their ads, making the messages resonate more profoundly. It’s not just about speaking the same language; it’s about living the same experiences, sharing the same cultural context, and expressing it in a way that enhances the brand’s perception.
Localization is also about partnering with the right voices to carry the message. Egyptians respect and follow influencers who share their cultural background, values, and interests. By aligning with these trusted figures, we can leverage their reach, credibility, and cultural insights, making our brand part of the local conversation.
Let’s look at an example from the world of cosmetics: Many beauty campaigns in Egypt rope in well-known local actresses to share their experiences with the products. This storytelling strategy, conducted in Arabic and fronted by celebrities, has a powerful influence on consumer purchasing behavior. A recent example is L’Oréal Paris Egypt’s campaign featuring the popular actress Mona Zaki. With 2.3 million views on YouTube, it’s a testament to the strength of localization in action. You can watch the campaign here:
Fact #10 A Mobile-First Landscape
We live in a mobile-centric world. With easy access to affordable smartphones and data packages in Egypt, the reliance on mobile internet has skyrocketed. Smartphones have become the go-to for everything from checking emails to browsing social media and shopping. As marketers, we need to adapt to this shift, ensuring our campaigns are mobile-friendly and optimized for those smaller screens that are never far from our fingertips.
Consider this – as of January 2023, the Egyptian population stands at 111.8 million, with an astounding 93.9% mobile penetration rate. Between 2022 and 2023 alone, mobile connections grew by an impressive 7.2%. That’s a significant market to tap into, right in the palms of our hands.
Thanks to the convenience and accessibility of smartphones, we’ve seen a surge in mobile shopping and e-commerce. It’s becoming increasingly common for consumers to browse products, compare prices, read reviews, and make purchases – all from their mobile devices. By developing mobile apps, optimizing websites, and offering smooth mobile shopping experiences, we can cater to this growing mobile consumer base.
Take a look at how Amazon.eg leveraged this trend. Their 2022 campaign conveyed the message of convenience and accessibility, capturing the essence of mobile shopping with their slogan, “Feel the savings with Amazon.eg.” With 21 million views on YouTube, it’s a testament to the power of mobile-first marketing. Check out the campaign here:
Fact #11 Social Media Usage
We’re all in the loop, aren’t we? Social media has become our everything.
As of 2023, Egypt has a whopping 46.25 million active social media users. That translates into 61% of the population aged 18 and above.
This shift has significantly transformed how marketers create and execute campaigns, fostering real-time interactions and feedback. Consider how social media has empowered consumers. User-generated content greatly influences purchasing decisions, whether it’s reviews, testimonials, or product demos.
Marketers must encourage consumers to share their experiences with our products and services, leveraging this authentic content to build trust and credibility. Social media platforms’ robust targeting capabilities allow us to reach specific segments of the population based on demographics, interests, and online behaviors. We can optimize our campaigns to ensure they reach the most relevant audience, maximizing our marketing ROI.
To get more insights on Social Media statistics, read our blog post on Egyptians and Digital: 2023 Report.
A brilliant showcase of this power of social media marketing is Mountain View’s 2022 “Bubble Free Campaign.” This award-winning campaign is an ode to human connections, and it’s truly resonated with our audience, racking up more than 18M views on Facebook. Check out the campaign for a dose of inspiration here:
Fact #12 Crescents And Campaigns: Ramadan Advertising Is A Must To Seduce Egyptian Audiences
Imagine a month where the values of love, unity, compassion, and giving are reflected in every aspect of life – from family gatherings to media screens. This is Ramadan in Egypt. Marketers find themselves in a unique position during this culturally and religiously significant month, tailoring strategies to echo these sentiments and resonate deeply with Egyptian audiences.
Advertising during Ramadan is not just about marketing a product or service – it’s about weaving emotional narratives that align with the Ramadan spirit. This is where storytelling shines, transforming campaigns into shared experiences that connect people and create lasting impressions.
With more and more of us logging in during Ramadan, the digital realm has become a vibrant space for these narratives. Egyptian marketers must curate social media campaigns, create engaging video content, collaborate with influencers, and craft interactive online experiences that mirror and celebrate the spirit of Ramadan.
A brilliant example of this strategy comes from Telecom Egypt’s 2022 Ramadan campaign. The campaign delved into the rich Ramadan traditions, showcasing how generations and families communicate and celebrate. The result? A nostalgic homage to Ramadan that struck a chord with the audience, racking up over 83 million views on YouTube. For a deeper dive into this evocative campaign, follow this link:
Fact #13 Social Influencers and Viral Sensations: The Influence Game in Egyptian Marketing
We’ve all seen the power of a well-placed celebrity endorsement or the impact of a viral social media challenge. In Egypt, celebrity endorsements are a classic strategy. Our consumers often look to their favorite celebrities for guidance when purchasing. As marketers, aligning our products or services with well-known figures can tap into their influence and credibility, driving consumer response. The key is to ensure the alignment is authentic and reflects the brand’s values.
In more recent years, influencer marketing has taken center stage. Our consumers follow social media influencers whose content aligns with their interests, seeking recommendations and opinions on products and services. By collaborating with these influencers, we can reach our consumers on platforms they trust, leveraging influencers’ credibility to influence purchasing decisions.
Viral campaigns can be exciting, often involving trending challenges or widely shared campaigns. Consumers actively participate in these trends by sharing content related to specific themes or topics. Marketers can encourage engagement with our brand and create a buzz by creating viral campaigns or sponsoring existing ones.
Chipsy’s campaign in 2022 is a prime example of virality. Their “Making Millions of Egyptians Smile” campaign proves that creativity, combined with a grasp of the power of viral trends, can lead to a massive response. By changing their bag’s design and challenging people to share pictures holding the bag in front of their mouths, Chipsy promoted their product and created an engaging and fun experience for their consumers. For a peek into the campaign, check it out here.
Fact #14 “Lights, Camera, Action”: Video Content is King!
Here in Egypt, video content has taken the spotlight, with platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Kuaishu becoming favorite virtual theaters for our audiences.
This shift towards video content isn’t a surprise. After all, videos are captivating – they stimulate our visual and auditory senses, offering an immersive experience. It’s a canvas waiting to be painted with engaging, visually appealing content that doesn’t just capture but holds the attention of our audiences.
In particular, the vlogging and lifestyle genres have been stealing the show. Audiences love getting an intimate peek into individuals’ daily lives, travel experiences, and insights. This is an opportunity for us marketers to create branded content that aligns with this genre. Imagine collaborating with vloggers, sponsoring travel videos, or integrating products within lifestyle content – it’s all about becoming part of the narrative.
Videos also provide a powerful stage for brand storytelling. Marketers can craft compelling, emotive narratives that express our brand messages and values, resonating with our audiences’ emotions and aspirations. This can create a lasting impact, solidifying the bond between our brands and consumers.
Take, for example, the stage set by food bloggers, food reviewers, and travel vloggers. One star performer in this space is “Haggagovic حجاجوفيتش,” a renowned Egyptian travel vlogger, TV presenter, and adventurer. His exploits, chronicled across 163 countries, have garnered him a following of over 504K subscribers on his YouTube channel. Here’s a link to Haggagovic’s YouTube channel to inspire you. It’s time we turned on our cameras and joined the action!
Fact #15 From Browsing to Buying: The E-commerce Boom in Egypt
Welcome to the new marketplace: your screen! E-commerce has been sweeping across Egypt, changing shopping habits dramatically. With the rise of social media usage, the door to e-commerce and online shopping has swung wide open, especially for the younger generation. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram aren’t just about scrolling and double-tapping anymore – they’ve evolved into bustling digital bazaars where you can explore, connect, and purchases are only one click away.
Egyptian audiences engage with these platforms, as reflected in the numbers – an impressive 55.74 million people flexed their online shopping muscles, racking up USD 6.85 billion in purchases in 2022 alone. That’s a solid 4.3% bump compared to 2021!
The shopping bags have gone digital, but so have our wallets. Mobile payments and digital wallets are becoming the norm in Egypt, with many Egyptians turning to their smartphones for financial transactions. We’re paying bills, transferring money, and clicking ‘Buy Now’ all from the comfort of our screens. This trend has prompted marketers to incorporate mobile payment options into e-commerce platforms, making transactions as smooth as a swipe on a screen.
Look no further than the popular food delivery app, Talabat for a taste of how this is done right. In 2022, they cooked up a marketing campaign with the right ingredients: celebrities, catchy tunes, and a hefty dose of appeal to the young and tech-savvy. Check out their sizzling campaign video and let it inspire your e-commerce journey:
Fact #16 COD’s Popularity: Prioritizing Cash on Delivery in E-commerce
Despite the rising trend of online shopping in Egypt, many consumers still prefer the comfort of cash-on-delivery (COD) payments. This method enables customers to assess the quality of their purchased goods before parting with their hard-earned cash, mitigating concerns around fraudulent transactions or receiving defective items and fostering confidence in e-commerce.
According to the Digital 2023 Egypt report by Datareportal:
56% of online transactions in Egypt utilize the COD method.
Its convenience and security have propelled COD as the second most potent driver of online purchases in Egypt, surpassed only by “Free Delivery” options. We must remember that in 2022, only 26.1% of Egyptians aged 15 or above have an account in a financial institution.
Incorporating COD as a payment option allows businesses to cater to a wider market segment. Despite advancements in digital payments, not everyone in Egypt can access credit or debit cards, and online payment platforms might not be universally accepted.
Embracing COD as a payment option can also nurture customer trust and loyalty. Customers with positive COD experiences are more likely to return to the same online retailer for future purchases, fortifying a relationship based on trust and satisfaction.
Deciphering Egypt’s diverse and complex market can be an exhilarating task. There’s an exquisite dance between tradition and modernity, a vibrant digital landscape that sits comfortably alongside deep-seated cultural norms. With an audience as unique as this, you need a marketing strategy that’s equally unique, nuanced, and engaging.
That’s where NAOS Digital comes in. As your guide on this exciting journey, we’re here to help you navigate the intricate pathways of Egypt’s dynamic social and digital landscape. Our expertise and local insight will ensure that your brand resonates deeper, capturing the heart and soul of the Egyptian audience.
Whether you’re a local brand aiming to elevate your impact or an international player ready to dive into the enticing Egyptian market, we’ve got you covered. NAOS Digital crafts social media campaigns as unique as the audience they’re designed to reach.
Don’t just create a campaign – create an experience, an emotional connection, and a powerful story that resonates with your audience. Ready to make waves in Egypt’s digital landscape? Contact NAOS Digital today, and let’s craft your next unforgettable social media campaign. Let’s embrace the uniqueness of Egypt together!