Having been the first to react to the announcement of the decree on with a post on Twitter featuring a number plate execution, 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 - that we had recruited and brought to the event as a surprise.
News of The Royal Decree broke at 11:30pm. An hour later, we developed the "2018-GRL" Tweet, knowing Twitter is the main social platform in Saudi Arabia for breaking news. To further cement the idea and Nissan's point of view, we posted two 6-second films on Facebook a week later: one showed the number-plate being pressed, the other a Saudi woman getting into the driver's seat. To really bring the idea to life, and go beyond just talk, we built a space in which Saudi women could actually drive a car, legally, for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The twist being, unbeknown to our female learners, their first instructor would be the man from their household. The content generated was enjoyed across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Finally, we asked all Saudi men to show their support by submitting driving tips under the #shedrives to a highlights album on Instagram.
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results
We expected the campaign to be referenced and celebrated internationally, as was the decree. However, we wanted to effect attitude and behavior change in Saudi Arabia, especially amongst more conservative men in households.
The initial tweet, featuring the "GRL 2018" car number plate visual, generated 562,000 impressions and 8.8% engagement rate (benchmark for excellence 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.
Earned media coverage on TV and online, including Reuters, CNN, Al Arabiya and BBC Worldwide, has been valued at over $2.1m.
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service
After King Salman issued a royal decree in late September allowing women to drive in June 2018, carmakers have been fighting for the attention of Saudi women. Giving women the chance to get some hands-on driving experience is a territory every car brand can play in. Yet no brand apart from Nissan has managed to pull it off. Moreover, we addressed a bigger issue, the Saudi men who were still reluctant and unwilling to give their support: by generating genuinely relevant, engaging and shareworthy content from a stunt that helped normalize the idea of supporting women's right to drive.
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 data, conducted focus groups and monitored social media to discover that there was still much resistance from conservative men. This had the potential to demoralize certain women and make them feel reluctant.
Sure, we wanted to give real women the chance to get a real taste of driving a car, but we also wanted to help them get the unreserved support and approval of the men in their household. By meeting the other men attending, we indirectly encouraged all of these real Saudi men, who had different feelings towards the new decree, to get involved and support the women in their household.