2018 Winners & Shortlists


Type of EntryPractices & Specialisms
CategoryEvents & Stunts
Additional Company TBWA\FULLSTOP Jeddah, SAUDI ARABIA

The Campaign

Having been first to react to the announcement of the decree on with a creative post on Twitter, here we wanted to follow up with a real-world event where real women would get the chance to drive a car, get some confidence. So we set up a driving school for a day in a private car park, where first and foremost, women could legally get behind the wheel to experience driving for themselves, for the first time. Secondly, and this is where it got even more interesting, unbeknown to our brave female protagonists it would be the men in their lives who would actually be giving them their first lesson: brothers, uncles, husbands and fathers whom we recruited and brought to the event as a surprise. Despite the logistical challenges, the outcome was a genuinely memorable day for the participants, and highly shareable, emotional content for everyone else.


The Royal Decree encouraged most brands to jump on the bandwagon. However, we wanted to do more than get involved. Nissan wanted to be a genuine enabler and make a meaningful difference. So we set-up a real world stunt, that would generate a film with the power to change minds and hearts. An experience and emotion women would remember when it finally comes to buying a car. We were the first and only brand to do it for real, by building a Nissan-branded space in car park where Saudi women could actually drive a car, legally, for the first time in their own country. The twist being, unbeknown to our female learners, their first instructor would be the man from their household. Thanks to high engagement, the film established #shedrives as the unofficial hashtag of the movement across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

We expected the campaign to be referenced and celebrated internationally, as was the decree. However, we really wanted to effect a change in attitude and behavior in Saudi Arabia, especially amongst more conservative men in households. The initial post was only on Twitter, featuring the "GRL 2018" car number plate visual. It generated 562,000 impressions and 49,353 clicks, retweets, comments and likes/reactions. This is an 8.8% engagement rate, when the benchmark for excellence on Twitter is 2.5%. In its first week, with a very small paid media budget, the content film generated 7.6m impressions and 2,064,300 views (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube), with 9.4% engagement rate (> 5% is seen as excellent). The viewer retention rate is 59% - YouTube benchmark excellence as 50%. Overall, people have spent 976,487 minutes watching the content, equivalent to 1.86 years of viewership, with 64% of the views coming from men in Saudi Arabia. The campaign as a whole has been celebrated globally and regionally, with media coverage on TV and online, including Reuters, CNN, Al Arabiya and BBC Worldwide. Even though the campaign still has more than 3 weeks to run, earned media has been valued at over $2.1m.

The Situation

Most big brands have the budget to pay for reach and media impressions. Few have the bravery to invest in an idea that will earn it. After King Salman issued a royal decree in late September allowing women to drive in June 2018, Nissan Saudi Arabia grasped the opportunity to bring to life their brand promise: to make the innovation and excitement of driving accessible to all. In so doing, we generated huge PR coverage, along with public engagement and participation from our core audience, Saudi men.

The Strategy

The Royal Decree was met with delight from both within Saudi and across the world. It set the tone for how King Salman sees the future. Since then, we analyzed syndicated research data, conducted focus groups and monitored social media to discover there was still much resistance from conservative Saudi men. This was affecting women's confidence and making them feel reluctant. Therefore, our plan was to give real women the chance to get a real taste of driving a car, but we also wanted to highlight the men who were supporting their decision, all who had different feelings about the decree initially. By promoting the content, we hoped to normalize the decision for the other millions of men to support their wives, sisters and daughters in exercising their right to drive. This would make for meaningful content from a brave brand that isn't just riding the wave.


Name Company Position
Walid Kanaan TBWA\RAAD Chief Creative Officer
Fouad Malak TBWA\RAAD Executive Creative Director
Manuel Borde TBWA\RAAD Creative Director
Alberto Triana TBWA\RAAD Senior Copywriter
Federico Mariani TBWA\RAAD Senior Art Director
Ghassan Kassabji TBWA\RAAD Managing Director
Fadi Awada TBWA\RAAD Account Manager
Benjamin Schwartz TBWA\RAAD Digital Account Director
Elizabeth Arroyan TBWA\RAAD Account Manager
Vishal Badiani TBWA\RAAD Senior Strategic Planner
Rouba Asmar TBWA\RAAD Head of Production
Abboud Ayyach Made in Saudi Films Executive Producer
Yara Bdeir Made in Saudi Films Producer
Jack Eliott Made in Saudi Films Director
Anthony Chamoun Made in Saudi Films Senior Editor
Mohammad Hamdan Made in Saudi Films Sound Mixing
Hazem Atieh / Ezzat Habra TBWA\RAAD Creative Services Managers
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