June 24th Saudi Arabian women were allowed to drive for the first time in history. Volkswagen set out to takle this monumental shift in politics and culture with a campaign meant to inspire, engage and empower Saudi women.
Creative Director, Juggi Ramakrishnan, and the creative team worked closely with Danish writer-director, Sune Sorensen, to create a series of films about the "Simple Joys of Driving" - and to balance this message in a region, where it would have been unthinkable to see women drivers only moments earlier. The solution was to create believable moments of joy that contained deeper layers of emotional complexity, so they could "tell a story within a story".
This resulted in no less than 8 powerful films, which thoughtfully depicted a series of internal transformations (from one emotion to joy), as well as one completed piece: "Simple Joys" (also recognized by the director as the director's cut).
Whilst the 8 films communicate specific joys of driving, which link directly to the overall campaign of more than a 100 joys, the latter highlights the campaign's underlying current of female empowerment even further by marking the type of freedom that is derived from being able to do anything or go anywhere.
From a western perspective, this campaign may not seem provocative or progressive, but considering the historical background it is important to understand that it challenges a very long-standing set of norms and represent a tremendous cultural change in Saudi Arabia.
Albeit not political, the campaign depicts freedom of choice and the joy of driving with a very authentic and genuine series of portraits of free (spirited) liberal women drivers - in a region where they were not allowed to drive the day before the campaign went public.
Film advertisement created by Ogilvy, United Arab Emirates for Volkswagen, within the category: Automotive.
Creative Director: Juggi Ramakrishnan
Director / Scriptwriter: Sune Sorensen
DoP: Michal Dabal
Agency Head of Production: Luke Morris
Agency Producer: Amin Soltani
Executive Producer: Shane Martin
Producer: Daniel Kilalea
Post Producer: Mannu Singh
Original Composition / Score: Jamie Ryan
Original Song: Alex Tao
Lead Colorist: Piotrek Nowicki