Case Study: Ford Sweden, Share the Wheel
Sweden is one of the most gender-equal countries in the world. Swedes share parental leave and household chores, for example. However, only two of 10 Swedish couples share the driving. Statistics show that women cause fewer traffic accidents than men and, in a nationwide poll carried out in preparation for the campaign, only 10% of Swedes believed that men are better drivers than women.
In 2016, as Ford of Sweden prepared to re-launch its brand (with women as the key target audience), it discovered that Swedish women buy more than 50% of new cars and influence 80% of vehicle purchase decisions.
The insights-based idea was to encourage more women to drive by educating Swedish men and women on the road safety benefits of gender equality in the car. A public awareness campaign designed to encourage Swedes to “Share the Wheel” was developed together with the National Road Safety Association, NTF.
We designed a social media program encouraging men and women to play a Ford-branded driving game together for the chance to win a road trip across the United States’ famed Route 66. To gain traction, we built a cross-sector coalition by engaging the public and private sectors—from the National Society for Road Safety to Hertz.
With the world’s first feminist government endorsing the Ford campaign, we successfully encouraged Swedes to Share the Wheel. Even more striking, the Swedish Association of Car Manufacturers, which represents BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Volkswagen, Nissan, Mazda, Renault and Fiat, joined forces with Ford and promoted the campaign.
With combined traditional and social media coverage/reach of 27.4M, we conducted a nationwide opinion poll proving Share the Wheel’s effectiveness. The results—a 65% shift in public opinion with twice as many Swedes feeling it’s “very important” to equally share the driving. Six months after campaign start, twice as many women said they would consider buying a Ford according to independent third-party research commissioned by Ford. The same research showed that spontaneous brand awareness amongst women increased by 3% from 16% to 19%.