Creative Director's Choice: Zach Lyons of Schiefer Chopshop on the honesty of Nissan's #SheDrives

#SheDrives from Nissan Saudi Arabia

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, Zach Lyons, chief creative officer and founding partner at content and media agency Schiefer Chopshop, praises Nissan’s #SheDrives campaign in Saudi Arabia for its honesty.

I love the Nissan #SheDrives campaign because of its honesty, sincerity, and simplicity. The word 'authenticity' gets thrown around quite a bit in our industry, but for good reason: every relationship is based on trust, and the customer’s relationship with a brand is no different. Unfortunately, the effort to be authentic often takes the form of a 'documentary style' or 'real' people campaign with varying results. It’s always refreshing to see a genuinely heartfelt message executed well.

The decision to allow the women of Saudi Arabia to drive is truly historic, and this ad doesn’t attempt to co-op or evangelize the moment. Rather, it lends a small hand in helping to evolve people's perceptions. It does this in a way that is powerful and personal.

It’s campaigns like this that help brands forge real and meaningful relationships with their customers.

When producing a campaign around a cultural talking point like this, it can often be such a challenge to pull off well. In this case, the production is not grandiose, which is spot on for the concept. This is about the people. The raw emotion of the participants make them all immediately very likable, which makes the audience care about them and their story.

But the true genius is the twist of having the fathers, husbands and brothers of the women surprise them as their driving instructors. The interactions are so real and honest.

Those moments also occur just as the women are experiencing their first interactions as drivers in a vehicle. Nice touch. The driving lessons are very relatable and endearing to anyone who has taught someone else to drive, while allowing us to experience the vehicles.

The final knockout punch is fantastic. These fathers, husbands and brothers announcing their public support for the women who they love and care about. Those statements of support are as important as the women making their decisions to learn how to drive. It is maybe the first time a spot with a driving course gave me a lump in my throat. Well done.

Zach Lyons is chief creative officer and founding partner at Orange County, California content and media agency Schiefer Chopshop.

See the short film by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

Overall Rating
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