Saudi Telecom Company FROM J. Walter Thompson Riyadh
2018 was a transformational year for women in Saudi Arabia – in a country where women had faced restrictions from voting, the ability to work in certain sectors to even entering football stadiums – this all changed. The decree allowing women to drive also came into effect in June. Women had had little representation beyond the family and the kitchen, and with these new changes taking place, brands now had an opportunity to help Saudi women navigate them.
However, much of the representation or endorsement to follow, particularly on the issue of driving, was a case of everyone jumping on a media bandwagon – in short, the change was largely cosmetic. STC wanted to lead the change in mindset, in a country where the decision to allow women to drive had divided the nation. So with this campaign we turned to the past and Saudi history. There is a Saudi Arabia today because a woman, Princess Nora, drove her brother to lay the foundations of the kingdom. In focusing on Princess Nora’s contribution, not only did we demonstrate that women have always had a role but that it’s not by celebrating women being allowed to drive that you promote female empowerment – it’s by acknowledging their historic right to drive the country forward.