It's just a few weeks now (June 24) until women will legally be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia--but attitudes are still divided in the country.
Ahead of the law change, Shell Middle East made a revealing film in which a group of men, among them a doctor, a TV personality, a hip-hop artist, an ex-navy officer and an international rollerblader, discuss the implications of women driving.
The men are captured in film sitting in the back of a car being interviewed by the driver about their views. Some are pretty frank-- at first, they admit they are "scared" and claim they are worried about the women's safety as "driving in Saudi isn't easy." However, as they discuss the women in their lives, they gradually admit that they are more than capable and have helped them with their own problems through the years. The film concludes with the driver--the interviewer--swapping his place in the car with some of the wives, sisters and daughters, taking the men by surprise.
The film, which was created by M&C Saatchi's two UAE offices, was prompted by the overwhelming skepticism demonstrated by many men on social media when the decree was first announced. M&C Saatchi sought to understand the current perceptions and attitudes surrounding the profound change. Insight showed that while women had originally been excited by the decision, many were now feeling intimidated by the doubt surrounding their ability to drive, which had initially been displayed by male audiences.
Having first debuted in early May, the film now has over 2.6 million views to-date.
Other automotive brands to have used the driving law change as a conversation starter include Nissan, which launched a film in January showing women taking driving lessons with the men in their lives.