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Saudi Arabia: Religious Ad Campaigns Flood Airwaves | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabia: Religious Ad Campaigns Flood Airwaves

Saudi Arabia: Religious Ad Campaigns Flood Airwaves

Saudi Arabia: Religious Ad Campaigns Flood Airwaves

Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat-An advertising campaign has been re-launched on popular Arab satellite channels in order to raise socio-religious awareness.

These adverts use a dramatic style designed to achieve a stronger impact on the audience. The campaign, which was first launched in 2001 entitled ‘Get up and pray,’ was received well and had a strong impact on the viewer.

Marwan Qatab who worked on the ‘Get up and pray before it is too late,’ campaign stressed that it was welcomed by a range of people whether young or old, religious or non-religious. The campaign managed to change the idea that “religious scholars and preachers are the only ones responsible for giving Daawa and advice on religion.”

The ‘Get up and pray’ campaign, which was divided into four parts, told the story of a young man who died unexpectedly and it showed his family and friends carrying his coffin to the cemetery. Using flashbacks, the advert shows how the young man enjoyed his life but failed to make time for prayer.

Another campaign advert called ‘Rahma’ meaning mercy is also being broadcast at present on satellite channels. The message that the advert carries is, ‘He who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy,’ and it was created by a Saudi who managed to touch viewers’ hearts in a simple way.

Mohammed Salam, head of the religious Iqra channel which broadcast the ‘Rahma’ ads in the month of Ramadan said, “The advert was broadcast at a suitable time as we become more aware of mistakes were we are committing [in the month of Ramadan].”

Despite the channel’s hesitancy to broadcast the advertising campaign because it was Saudi and addressed Saudi society using the Hijazi dialect, and his concern about criticism, Salam accepted the advertising campaign for the channel. He said, “It is a very important issue. Ignoring the issue of dialect and the targeted audience, we wanted to have a strong impact upon the viewer.” He added finally, “The response [to the campaign] was positive. Raising socio-political awareness is one of Iqra channel’s goals and policies.”