Ironically, there’s an increase in food advertising here during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. I guess it’s because after not eating or drinking all day, the evening meal is a pretty big to-do.
After having seen these ads pop up around Dakar, I think I’ve figured out the secret to advertising your products during Ramadan.
1. Start with a product image.
2. Add text with Ramadan best wishes.
3. Add some crescent moon-shaped clipart.
4. Arabic text optional.
However, in honor of the now-famous Tigo Gaffe, we would like to submit an additional step to the process: have a Wolof-speaker proofread your ad.
This year Tigo mobile operator billboards proudly posted ‘Kooru jaam ak Tigo!’ Odds are good that they probably meant to wish us all ‘A peaceful Ramadan with Tigo!’ But, ahem, what they actually said was ‘Ramadan of slaves with Tigo!’ You see, jaam = slave. But jàmm = peace.
And my personal favorite…