Ford Made the Perfect Ad in Response to Saudi Arabia Lifting Its Ban on Women Drivers


‘Welcome to the driver’s seat’

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman this week issued a decree allowing women to drivefor the first time—effectively ending the Gulf kingdom’s ignominious status as the only country in the world to ban women from driving.

A number of auto advertisers quickly jumped on the news (politics aside, they were surely happy to see an immediate spike in potential users of their product). But none did so quite as cleverly as Ford.

In a tweet yesterday, the automaker posted an image of a woman’s eyes in a rearview mirror, surrounded black rippled material that’s evocative of a veil. “Welcome to the driver’s seat,” says the copy. The ad is credited to GTB Middle East along with ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller PR.

The beauty is in the simplicity—an advantage the Ford work had over competing efforts from brands like Nissan and Volkswagen.

UPDATE: It turns out the Ford ad might not be entirely original. J. Walter Thompson Doha won an award at Dubai Lynx last year for a similar ad for the website Raseef22, which you can see below. We have asked Ford agency GTB about this, and will update when we hear back.

This article first appeared in

Seeking to build and grow your brand using the force of consumer insight, strategic foresight, creative disruption and technology prowess? Talk to us at +9714 3867728 or mail: or visit

About Author

Tim Nudd

Tim Nudd is a writer covering creativity in business. Since 2018 he has been editor in chief of the Clio Awards, leading all content initiatives for the venerable awards company. Shortly after joining Clio, he launched Muse by Clio, a website and daily newsletter of original stories and guest essays exploring the best in creativity from the advertising world and beyond. Prior to Clio, he was creative editor at Adweek for eight years. He lives outside Portland, Maine.

Comments are closed.