13 March 2018, Dubai, UAE: Nissan participated today in Dubai Lynx, the international festival of creativity, where the automaker shared its #SheDrives campaign that engaged with Saudi women following the decision to grant licenses.

Nissan was the first automotive brand to react to the Royal Decree. The topic was addressed by Nissan through different content until January 28, when an emotionally engaging and experiential video was posted on Nissan’s digital platforms that put Saudi women behind the wheel as they attend their first driving lesson. Each woman in the video touched upon how they still faced some subtle degree of resistance from their direct male relatives around the topic. The women then proceed to their lesson, but with surprise driving instructors: Their proud husbands, fathers and brothers hopped in the passenger seats to give the women their first-ever driving lesson, resulting in an inspirational three-minute video.

Hussein M. Dajani, Nissan’s General Manager for Digital and Customer Experience in Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and India, spoke at the prestigious event, where he discussed the analysis and approach behind the campaign and outlined the milestones that have paved the way for Saudi women, including universal suffrage in 2015. However, throughout this momentum of increasing social and political transformation, the communications and marketing industry has been slow to take bold steps towards engaging Saudi women through more meaningful and direct methods, Dajani noted.

“A series of events have caused a societal shift in the role Saudi women play over the years. This shift has been further accelerated with Saudi Vision 2030 leading to higher women employment rates and recently lifting the ban on women driving effective June 2018. For years, brands have been struggling with the polarity found between existing mindsets in the Kingdom, leaving marketers and brand owners alike often opting for 'safe routes' when communicating with Saudi women,” Dajani said. “It is time for brands to rethink their communications approach in the Saudi market. Our #SheDrives campaign illustrates how brands can play an impactful role in the lives of Saudi women.”

Given the interest today in women’s rights across the world, the video was timely and meaningful far beyond Saudi Arabia’s borders, and for that reason all markets in which Nissan operates drove the story on their channels. Content was provided in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Japanese.