June 24th 2018 saw history being made in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as women were permitted to drive for the first time ever! This momentous occasion was celebrated as a win by the global community which is a great supporter of women being given the same opportunities men seem to automatically have.
Audi is one of the prominent brands that paid homage to this new change releasing an ad campaign “welcoming the women of Saudi Arabia to the driver’s seat.” The video focuses on a modern married couple, with the husband predictably being chivalrous opening doors for her, ending with a plot twist whereby she opens the passenger door for him and positions herself in the driver's seat. This short video essentially captures how equal opportunity in driving applies in everyday life.
While Audi's empowering gesture to potential female customers or customers who support this movement was notable, one has to wonder whether this was genuinely heartfelt or merely anothe marketing scheme. Does this act of female empowerment only exist to garner sales? After all, they say that appealing to people's values, belief's and attitudes is a great way to get them on board.
Audi's global management team is made up of all men, absolutely NO WOMEN sit on this board. This does not in any way reflect the empowerment they are selling to customers in this ad. Either there are absolutely no women qualified enough to assume a role on the board, which is highly unlikely, or this is pure discrimination.
The message of empowerment depicted in the video is truly praiseworthy, BUT Audi should reconsider the current structure of their board room . The empowerment should start from within. They must practice what they preach and gracefully welcome women into the company's drivers' seats.