Agency launches to ‘redefine how Muslims are represented’

A former Ogilvy PR strategist and a graphic designer have set up the firm, called mud orange, with the aim of repositioning the role Muslims play within the industry, as well as how they are portrayed in mainstream brand activations.

(L-R) Ala Uddin and Arif Miah want to reset how Muslims are perceived in the media
(L-R) Ala Uddin and Arif Miah want to reset how Muslims are perceived in the media

The agency, which launches on the eve of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, will focus on creating campaigns that are “deeply rooted in contemporary culture and showcase accurate representations of specific target audiences based on strategic insights”.

Services include creative, brand strategy and above-the-line work.

The London shop has been founded by creative strategy director Arif Miah and creative director Ala Uddin.

Miah previously worked as a strategist for Ogilvy PR on accounts including HSBC and Skoda, and more recently was a strategist at creative agency Odd. Uddin previously ran his own design business.

Miah said the mainstream narrative about Muslims is often shrouded with stereotypes, including “oppression, misogyny, and lifestyles which are against western ideals”.

“So most Muslims, understandably, feel like their true identity is not represented on the main stage,” he explained.

“They want authentic and empowering creative that makes them proud, which is exactly what we aim to do at mud orange.”

Uddin said the pair founded mud orange because “we deeply care about our culture – particularly how brands can use it creatively and authentically to resonate with their audience in a way that will truly enable them to cut through”.

The pair have launched with tech company MyTenNights as a foundation client. The app allows users to automatically donate money on all of the last 10 days of Ramadan, which means they do not miss charitable giving on Laylatul Qadr.

Launching on Friday (17 April), the ‘I Caught Laylatul Qadr’ campaign focuses on donor-centric activity and aims to redefine charity empowerment by shifting from helping beneficiaries to control over individual Ramadan goals and donations.

The digital campaign will run in the UK, US and Canada across paid and owned digital media channels – including TikTok and Snapchat – as well as Sky and other video-on-demand services.

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