Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?
When the royal decree granting women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia was announced, most car brands immediately started devising promotions and flooding the market with offers for the first women to buy a car. But the women of Saudi Arabia didn’t need offers, they needed confidence.
Instead, Nissan decided to create a unique brand experience to elevate women’s confidence to get behind the wheel and increase the positive sentiment surrounding the conversation of women driving. Starting with a well-timed tweet, it evolved into surprise driving lessons with loved ones, and extended to social channels with driving safety tips.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy aims to repudiate both the nation’s dependence on oil and its support of religious fundamentalism. The first and most dramatic step was the Royal Decree announced on 26th September, which gave women the right to drive.
Regardless of the Royal Decree, many Saudi men still felt reluctant to support women in exercising their new-found right to drive.
Our objectives was to normalise the idea of women driving to all men in KSA, and in so doing, give women the confidence to get behind the wheel and create a fundamental shift in the attitudes and behaviours of men and women in KSA around the hot topic of women driving.
Given Saudi Arabia is the most significant new car market in the region, and how in recent years sales and brand performance have been well under par, this was a massive opportunity for Nissan.
Describe the creative idea.
The idea had to demonstrate beyond doubt to real Saudi women that Nissan understood what the right to drive meant, and that Nissan was there to support and empower them now and beyond June 2018. After all, this is merely the first step on the path to a brave, modern new society in Saudi Arabia.
We planned to mobilise the open-minded majority, drown out the loud, opinionated conservative minority and persuade the undecided men of Saudi to support women’s right to choose. We needed to normalise the idea of women driving to all men in KSA, and in so doing, give women the confidence to get behind the wheel.
To bring the idea to life we gave real women of Saudi Arabia a first driving lesson to remember by using influential male members of their family – fathers, uncles, husbands, and brothers as their supportive and encouraging surprise instructor.
Describe the strategy.
The Royal Decree was met with mixed reactions in Saudi Arabia. An official survey in October 2017 revealed 82% of women intended to apply for a licence and drive yet only a minority of local men (32%) were willing to support women of the family driving – 26% were against it, with a further 42% undecided.
The negative sentiment was infiltrating the mainstream and fostering a sense of reluctance and hesitation; yes, women still wanted to drive, but in their own words, at least half were going to “wait and see”.
We decided to tackle the resistance from the minority as mentioned earlier and deliver a healthy shot of confidence to two critical groups of people:
1)Vocal Traditionalists: The conservative and vocal majority of men, who were reluctant to accept women’s right to drive.
2) Hesitant Heroines: Women who were eager and excited to drive, but reluctant to take action.
Describe the execution
News of The Royal Decree broke at 11:30pm. An hour later, the "2018-GRL" Tweet was developed. Knowing Twitter is the leading social platform in Saudi Arabia for breaking news, this made the most sense.
To further cement the idea and Nissan's point of view, two 6-second films were posted on Facebook a week later: one showed the number-plate being pressed, the other a Saudi woman getting into the driver's seat. Other carmakers were now back to posting about their offers and products – the momentous nature of the decree all but forgotten.
The next step was the biggest; Saudi women received their first driving lesson from an influential male in their family. The content generated was enjoyed across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Finally, all Saudi men were encouraged to show their support by submitting driving tips under the #shedrives to a highlights album on Instagram.
List the results.
Generate Earned Media
“GRL 2018” Number Plate - *Over 562,000 organic impressions (+125% over Nissan benchmarks). Online Driving Lesson Film – **4 million impressions (+19% over Nissan benchmarks). Online Driving Lesson Film – **2.3 million views (+96% over Nissan benchmarks).
Earned Media & PR Impressions
Coverage on TV and online including Reuters, CNN, Al Arabiya and BBC Worldwide has been valued at 2.1M
Time spent with campaign film
**1.9M minutes watched (+48% over Nissan benchmarks). Viewer retention rate - 70% viewer retention rate (+40% over YouTubes benchmark for excellence). Engagement rate (likes, shares and comments) – 10% engagement rate (+100% over YouTubes benchmark for excellent engagement with content. "GRL 2018” Engagement - 8.8% engagement rate (+252% over Twitters benchmark for excellence)
Drive Positive Brand Sentiment
Overall positive sentiment on social media, despite the polarizing nature of the campaign. Positive sentiment – 68%. Negative sentiment – 13%