How to identify and meet the needs of the Muslim consumer

The context: Muslim women choose to cover their hair as part of their Islamic duty. Covering hair for long periods of time can lead to consequences like greasy hair. Typical shampoo adverts focus on the outward benefits like ‘shine’ rather than addressing concerns which are specific to women who cover their hair.

The concept: TV adverts focus on showing  women specifically with their hair covered. The voice over explains the dilemma for these women: “When you cover your hair all day long, sweat and sebum starts to develop on your scalp which is the main cause of dandruff and irritation.” A hair expert then explains how Sunsilk has created a special formula using lime extract to control sweat and sebum and keep the scalp clean and healthy. The advert closes with the very specific line “1st shampoo for covered hair.”

The campaign: This was run as TV commercials in Pakistan. Similar concepts were used in other Muslim countries also such as Indonesia.

What we liked: Sunsilk has realised that there are specific needs that Muslim women who observe the headscarf have, and speaks directly to their concerns. The imagery they use of women who are covered means that their target audience can relate and will immediately be drawn into the advert. It avoids using similar language to other traditional shampoo ads, and highlights their innovative approach with the strapline “1st shampoo for covered hair.” Along with building confidence by using an expert, they also appeal to the Muslim consumer’s attraction towards natural products with the use of lime within the product recipe.

Ad Critque: Ogilvy Noor