Marketing Islamic Banking Without Islamic Values

Saadiq, Standard Chartered Bank’s Islamic Banking arm, is having a hard time selling cards.

The ad below has been spotted on multiple publisher sites that do not attract an in market segment anywhere close to credit cards or Umrah packages. The intended landing page has not sought to bid for the AdWord around Umrah packages either.

Saadiq Credit Card


Instead of sniping with precision, they have decided to carpet bomb and hope at least 1% of the impressions pans out. We can only conclude that this is intentional:

“Okay gents, we do conventional banking and also Islamic Banking. It’s not enough to use religion to sell haraam financial products, I also want to sell credit cards. Any ideas?”

“Search trends show people searching for Umrah packages on average of 6000 times per month. Maybe we can offer them one in return for signing up for our credit cards.”

“That’s too many Umrah packages to give away, Saadiq is here to make money, not make Muslims happy.”


“Okay then we’ll take their information and promise to award an unspecified package away to one lucky winner willing to GAMBLE for the chance to go to Umrah.”

“Excellent, a lucky draw then, I saw those in Vegas.”

“Exactly. No one in Pakistan will find it odd that they are gambling with an Islamic bank to win something they haven’t earned.”

“So should we buy the AdWords for Umrah packages? Its for US$ 0.44 only.”

“As brand managers we have to get leads. And for us, leads means people who have filled out a form. Lets not utilize anything that might give us contextual traffic. Lets ignore any digital marketing tool that could precisely target an audience that is looking for Umrah packages. Lets pick banner ads, set vague targeting parameters and focus on getting people to fill out the form regardless of how irrelevant they are to the campaign. We don’t need to limit our ads to publishers that attract an in market segment relevant to Umrah or credit cards.”

“Sounds fun, lets get cracking. Whiskey or scotch?”

When the quarterly bonuses of the brand/marketing team are hinged on impressions, likes, views, sign ups and other pointless vanity metrics, what else can you expect?

Babar Khan Javed

Babar Khan Javed

Babar Khan Javed is a Correspondent for Branding In Asia.

Read More

subscribe & get more brand in your diet


get more brand in your diet

We never share your info,
we only share ours