This Is The Most Shocking Taxi Ride Ever

There are so many great advertising campaigns out there that are targeting the big issues of humans rights, and more specifically women’s rights, that is can be hard be have your message heard above the noise. That’s why it sometimes pays to bring your campaign into the real world, as guerrilla marketing does, and show how the problem is actually happening, even if that is a shock to participants and viewers.

That’s what’s happened in a campaign from OgilvyOne Dubai called Driving Change in which they’ve paired up with KAFA (an NGO in Lebanon for the protection of women and children’s rights) to bring awareness to, and encourage more women to speak up against domestic violence. This was a real experiment, which ran with a women’s only taxi service called Banet Taxis.

Social Experimentation in Campaigns

In this campaign, registered customers of a Banet Taxis in Lebanon get in a cab with a female driver whose male dispatcher becomes more and more abusive as he gives her directions via the radio. He curses, swears and belittles her as the women in the back seat have a variety of reactions from shock, to discomfort and anger. At the end of the trip, or just before the women get out of the car, they receive a text message encouraging them to speak up against domestic violence as witnesses, and to tweet their support under the hashtag #iwillspeakup.

This is definitely not the first time that social experimentation has been used in an advertising campaign, but it’s certainly one of the more shocking ways we’ve seen it used recently. The experiment is very powerful both to the participants and the viewers because it gives both a chance to think about what they would do if the situation were actually reality. For the participants, it feels like reality during the campaign, and they act based on their emotions. But later when they find out that it’s an experiment they may rethink that behavior. For the viewers of the online video they get a chance to both be shocked by the campaign, and then put themselves in the shoes of the women who were involved when it is revealed that the situation is an experiment after all.


It can be challenging to gauge the effectiveness of a campaign such as this one which has social aims. However, if we look at the power of Driving Change, the way that it has captured the attention of the women in the video, and likely the viewers (we know we were certainly engaged by it) we are comfortable in concluding that it will likely do its job very well.

Perhaps the biggest reason for this is that at the heart of the campaign is one of the major issues that surrounds domestic violence in any society: the silence of its victims. Women in violent domestic relationships often can not or do not speak out, and as other women feel uncomfortable in situations where that violence is apparent they often stay silent as well. The Driving Change campaign has gone straight to this issue and plainly said that the time to report domestic violence is when you notice it, and that pledging that #iwillspeakup is a strong step towards lowered rates of violence, and more rights for women in these situations.


Advertised brand: Kafa Lebanon
Advertising Agency: OgilvyOne Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Regional Director: Nabil Moutran
Creative Director: Sally Tambourgi
Art Director: Nadine Hallak
English Copywriter: Dylan Kidson
Arabic Copywriter: Maya Elkai
Account Supervisor: Carina Aoun
PR Account Executive: Sophie Wordley
Producers: Amin Soltani, Carmel Missilmany
Director: Emile Slailaty
Production House: Déja Vu Dubai
Editor: Souheil Zahreddine
Published: May 2014