Female Marketing

Auto brands perpetuate outdated gender stereotypes that don’t connect with modern women. This isn’t just true in America; Hyundai operates in 193 countries, each with their own history, culture and context. Authentically reaching female drivers required a delicate balance of global trends with neighborhood-level insights.

The Ask

Hyundai Global hired us to create a brand platform to drive more authentic and progressive female-focused marketing campaigns in operational countries throughout the world. The tip of the spear for this entire initiative would be creating an engagement strategy that put Saudi women in the driver’s seat.

Framing Our Thinking

Tackling this challenge went way beyond an intimate understanding of horsepower, safety features and creature-comforts found in Hyundai’s lineup. We had to dig into one of the biggest issues facing society today; gender inequality. World Economic Forum data suggested socio-economic and political issues stifle female advancement everywhere. Understanding the forces behind inequality enabled us to tailor messaging that builds upon these insights.

Build to Universal Truths

Broadly speaking, the key issues driving the gender gap are labor force participation, wage inequality and representation in public office. Each issue represents a truth and a powerful force for change through real, relatable messaging that women can identify with, regardless of their own context.

Empowering Global Movement

Hyundai distributed the brand platform to each of its operational countries to effect change and direct all female-focused marketing efforts. With this global brand strategy established, we could then begin to localize these themes in a truly authentic voice. Our first stop? The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Driving Change in Saudi Arabia

On June 24, 2018 Saudi Arabia lifted the driving ban that had prevented women from legally taking the wheel since 1957. Building on the themes of our global brand strategy, we worked to develop a communications platform that put Saudi women behind the wheel.

Cultural Connection

Establishing the trust of Saudi women was paramount to understanding her motivations, needs and wants. Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system forfeits women’s decision making power to fathers, husbands and sons, and such a radical change was already being met with resistance on an institutional level, as well as a reluctance on an individual level to take advantage of this new freedom. To get truly candid thoughts, we partnered with female-led research firms in Riyadh and Jeddah who co-hosted focus groups and interviewed prominent female influencers we selected from various professional industries.

Data-Driven Insights

Primary research revealed that a handful of social, cultural and religious mores influence Saudi womens’ will to drive and perpetuate gender inequality. We created campaign themes to combat these root inequalities and compel women to confidently take the wheel without a male escort for the first time.

Road Testing Creative

To find the optimal voice, we tested creative concepts with focus groups throughout Saudi Arabia and updated our messaging to reflect local nuances and specific, insightful feedback from individual women. This neighborhood-level approach drove the creative in a more truthful direction that was sensitive to the realities and the ambitions of our target audience. Using this approach, Hyundai can apply their global brand platform to any of the nearly 200 countries in which they operate.

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