“Change has a taste,” the spot says.
Coca-Cola have released an advertisement that shows a young Saudi woman getting a driving lesson from her father, following the kingdom’s decision to lift the ban on women behind the wheel.
Set in the desert and featuring an older-style red car, the ad shows the woman struggling to accelerate until her father places a bottle of Coca-Cola on the dash. Not wanting to spill it, she manages to get going smoothly, drinks the Coke, and speeds off into the setting sun.
The ad, which has been viewed over 73,000 times on YouTube since its release on November 2, has drawn mixed reaction.
Here it is, for your reference:
On Twitter, some people were impressed with the ad. Bahraini lawyer Faten Al Haddad said: “Love this… Well done Coca Cola.”
Leadership speaker Chery Gegelman was also in favour.
— Chery Gegelman (@GianaConsulting) November 5, 2017
Others were less impressed, seeing the ad as a move to jump onto a genuinely historic event.
— بثينة العزابي (@Boutaina) November 4, 2017
Capitalism is so crafty. Check out this new coca cola ad that shows a Saudi father teaching his daughter to drive. https://t.co/zTR12aNzwM
— Areeb Ullah (@are_eb) November 4, 2017
For their part, Coca-Cola said the advertisement was meant to celebrate social change.
“The ad, which debuted on November 2, celebrates the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift its longstanding prohibition on women drivers, focusing on a heart-warming scene of a father teaching his daughter to drive,” a spokesperson told Arabian Business.
“The campaign touches on the brand’s values surrounding diversity and inclusion and aligns with Coca-Cola’s commitment to enable the economic empowerment of women.”
At the end of September, it was announced that the kingdom would allow women to drive from June next year.
“Saudi Arabia will never be the same again,” activist Manal Al Sharif said at the time.
The reform comes as part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030, a post-oil economy plan under which the government aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020.
Coca-Cola have plans to build a US$100 million (Dhs3.6 billion) bottling plant in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2019.
Image: Coca Cola/YouTube