Clear Channel

Religious Occasions: When religion and culture meets consumer

14 Mar 2024 / Insights, Opinions
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter

Clear Channel’s Senior Research & Insight Manager, Liz Quach, shares insight into upcoming religious occasions in the calendar, the importance of understanding religious observances, and why Out of Home is essential to your media mix to embrace inclusivity and reach diverse audiences.

By Liz Quach, Senior Research & Insight Manager

If asked what the biggest celebration or holiday of the year is, I assume your first response is Christmas and New Year. An exciting period full of food, drink, presents and quality time with family. And, you’re not wrong. However, for many belonging to ethnic or cultural communities, their version of Christmas or New Year falls on different dates of the year and follows their own religious calendars.

With Vietnamese roots, my most anticipated holiday is Lunar New Year. Last month, falling on the first new moon of the Lunar calendar, I celebrated the occasion with 12m other Brits. What’s more, Clear Channel’s Religious Occasions survey reports that every 3 in 4 Brits are aware of the occasion. What has been most touching is seeing the event become more widely recognised, respected and celebrated by those even outside of our community.

Although my New Year may be over, it’s important to continue my journey of allyship to understand what other key moments my friends and colleagues may be celebrating for the year ahead.

Looking ahead…

You can mark your calendar with key celebrations that will commence this year such as South Asian Heritage Month (18th July - 17th August), Diwali (1st of November) and Hanukkah (25th December - 2nd of January 2025). To widen our understanding of religious observances, it’s essential to take the time to ask questions, and search for information around who celebrates, why they practice, when and how they do so.

Similarly, the way we build relationships, for brands extending allyship and wanting to foster a relationship with their consumers, they must spend the time to acknowledge and appreciate the communities they want to speak to. 

Festive marketing has emerged as a popular way to connect with customers' emotional connections to traditions and cultures. Religious occasions present a golden opportunity for businesses to boost sales and enhance brand visibility. And, with meaningful occasions like Ramadan, effective marketing can transform a brand’s success.

Follow the consumer journey during religious occasions

During festive periods, it is highly likely that people behave differently to their standard daily routines. Thinking about Ramadan, your consumer's day looks very different from the norm, fasting from dusk to sunset. To communicate effectively and sensitively with them, contextual messaging during key dayparts is required. Consumers may want to avoid seeing food ads during the hours they are fasting.

Furthermore, they may be looking for specific items that are only relevant during these special times. For example, during Lunar New Year, red pockets, seasonal fruits, and traditional dresses are essential shopping list items. For those planning, and also those last-minute shoppers, gift guides and bundles would be extra useful and inspirational for celebratory moments.  

OOH as an inclusive channel

Where culture and tradition are the centrepoint of these moments, it’s important to choose the most appropriate channels to speak to consumers. Connecting and resonating with the right audience is crucial. Compared to online channels, Out of Home is reported to be +9%pts more effective in conveying an authentic message as well as portraying trustworthy brands (+7%pts). *

Your media mix should embrace inclusivity, as well as being able to shine a positive light on the communities you are speaking to and about.

Source: *Real World Research 2021, Kinetic, Wavemaker, Clear Channel, JCD, Global
Clear Channel Religious Occasions 2023

Find out more about Religious Occasions 

To access our Religious Occasions deck with the latest insights, or to speak to a member of our team about how Out of Home can help you to connect and engage with audiences and communities around the UK’s many Religious Occasions, fill in the form below and we'll be in touch.