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ASDA'A BCW - Ford KSA Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: ASDA'A BCW, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Company Description: Over the last 15 years, ASDA'A BCW has earned its reputation as the Middle East’s leading public relations consultancy and the benchmark of PR practice in the region. The company’s growing list of prestigious clients and high-profile industry awards reflect this position. ASDA’A ASDA'A BCW, a WPP company, has 11 wholly owned offices and reaches into 18 Middle East nations.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Global Issues

Nomination Title: Ford KSA: Women in the Driving Seat

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.


In September 2017, Saudi Arabia passed a momentous decree which lifted the ban on women driving in the country. With the prospect of a whole new market of women drivers in Saudi Arabia for Ford Middle East, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller was part of a crack team along with advertising agency GTB, assigned to build on the great work Ford had been doing in Kingdom for many years, and make it a trusted auto company by Saudi Arabian Women. The team also aimed to create conceptual messaging that would capture the emotion resulting from this historic move.


In recent years, the driving ban in Saudi Arabia has sparked a protest movement that ended with numerous criminal convictions. While the decision to lift the ban was broadly welcomed, we were aware that more conservative elements of society were concerned that reforms in the Kingdom were moving too fast.


We carried out media surveys and Vox pops to determine how best to use this occasion for Ford. We aimed to come up with a powerful concept utilizing Ford’s reach via its social media platforms, effectively. Ford’s ongoing conversations with Saudi women informed our communications approach which was to maximize storytelling, which also aligned with our longer-term strategy of delivering and capturing what matters to these women, rather than executing headline grabbing stunts.


We partnered with GTB to create simple yet evocative artwork alongside the caption ‘Welcome to the Driver’s Seat’. Next, we posted this across all Ford’s social media channels, engaging with consumers and monitoring buzz. We identified Sahar Nassif, a prominent 63-year-old influencer from Saudi Arabia who had expressed her desire to buy a Ford Mustang during a BBC Interview. We developed a public campaign targeted at Sahar, announcing ‘Your Mustang Awaits’ to gift her, her dream car, and created a special hashtag #MustangSahar.

Next, we capitalised on Ford’s award-winning global safe driving programme - ‘Ford Driving Skills for Life’, by creating a first-of-its-kind variation on International Women’s Day, called the ‘Driving Skills for Life For Her’ at Jeddah’s Effat University in KSA.

We created a customized introductory programme focused on building women’s confidence behind the wheel, expanding their automotive knowledge and preparing them to drive safely. Over 250 students participated, and Ford intends to make the new DSFL for Her an on-going programme for the Kingdom’s female drivers. We identified a social media influencer from the University to be the face of the campaign and created unique content capturing their experience. We also celebrated the birth of Amal - one of the first baby girls to be born after the lifting of the ban, by working with Baby Amal’s parents to tell their story and highlight their hopes and aspirations for women in the Kingdom.

Furthermore, the team welcomed two Saudi female journalists - Layan Damanhouri (Saudi Gazette) and Nawal Turki AlJabr (Al Riyadh Arabic daily) into the world of automotive journalism where they spend two days at Ford’s headquarters in Dubai, learning new skills with Ford’s Product Development and Engineering teams, and Ford’s storytelling team at the Content Factory.

Lastly, we had the pleasure of delivering Sahar Nasif her dream car on 9th July at a media event in Jeddah.


The campaign received unprecedented coverage at the local, regional and international level resulting in 632 pieces of coverage reaching over 162 million people and achieved over 5 million impressions on social media.

International media channels commented on the cleverness and impact of the ad. DSFL for Her program received unprecedented attention, with over 100 regional and international media in attendance, along with celebrated guests like HRH Princess Noura bint Turki Al Faisal Al Saud and the US Consulate General in Jeddah. Through this program, Ford rose to number one in SOV and FO with regards to women driving in Saudi Arabia. The event was featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-Integrated approach with WPP Advertising Agency GTB
-Research conducted in the region to determine our campaign strategy and boldness
-Women in the Driving Seat Campaign had 1.6 million organic reach on Facebook making it Ford’s highest performing organic post for 2017 globally
-Women in the Driving Seat received 15,000+ retweets with a total of 4.6 million impressions on Twitter
-Women in the Driving Seat featured on AdWeek, BBC,, Gulf Marketing Review and CBSNews
-HRH Princess Noura bint Turki Al Faisal Al Saud in attendance for Driving Skills for Life for Her
-Driving Skills for Life for Her had over 100 regional and international media in attendance and resulted in Ford rising to number one in share of voice (28% globally and 26% for the Middle East Region) and favourable opinion (96% globally and 99% for the Middle East region) with regards to women driving in Saudi Arabia