The lucrative UK consumers that household brands are failing to engage

Festivals like Diwali, Eid and Ramadan are often overlooked by retailers, says Debarshi Pandit.

Ask any marketer and they will say Christmas is the key calendar event to invest ad spend. However, major household brands are missing out on lucrative opportunities throughout the rest of the year. After all, not everyone celebrates Christmas.

The latest census figures reveal 14% of people in the UK identify as an ethnic minority and this figure increases to 28% among 16-34 year olds. Delving deeper into the stats we find that 3 million of these are British Asians.

The UK Asian community is often overlooked. Brands that do so miss out on tapping the spending power of this community which is estimated to be over £300bn per annum. With the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha in full swing this week, 2.8 million UK Muslims are celebrating the occasion with friends and family.

Key Muslim and Hindu festivals such as Eid, Diwali and Ramadan have one thing in common - communities celebrate with an abundance of traditional food and exchange of gifts – in a similar tradition to Christmas. This provides huge opportunities for FMCG brands to drive interest in their products during these occasions.

The Asian food market in the UK is dominated by two brands - TRS and East End that offer items from spices to lentils. TRS and East End focus their marketing efforts on Asian TV channels such as Zee TV and Star as millions of UK Asians view these channels.

An Asian brand targeting an Asian community through Asian TV channel is a natural linear fit, but things get more exciting when mainstream brands create similar targeting strategies.

Asda, for example, launched a Ramadan campaign earlier this year promoting its wide range of culturally diverse products. The products were stocked in store locations that have a higher population of Muslim customers. To drive awareness of the food range, Asda worked with Sky Media to use Sky AdSmart, the addressable technology to target households located in close proximity to stores offering the Ramadan food range which are also likely to be Muslim audiences.

The results offer confidence for other brands wanting to follow suit – of audiences within the Sky AdSmart target audience, there was a 135% increase in viewers agreeing that the campaign was interesting and relevant to them compared to a traditional linear audience of 16+ Adults. The target audience were also 87% more likely to agree the campaign was aimed at people like them. And 92% more likely to say it got their attention.

With dozens of festivals throughout the year, brands can connect more relevantly and help UK consumers celebrate all year round - not just at Christmas.

Debarshi Prandit is head of multicultural at Sky Media

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