Cannes Lions

Into The Spotlight


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Women's rights in Saudi Arabia has been limited, being ranked 141 out of 144 on 2016's Global Gender Gap Report. In recent years, the kingdom has been opening up, with the world's only ban on female driving lifted in 2018. Despite women in Saudi Arabia being more educated (60% of all graduates are women), they are given less opportunities and exposure due to societal norms and restrictions. Many people in Saudi Arabia still believe that a woman's primary role lies as a home maker and in fulfilling her duties as a wife and mother.

Lux is a beauty brand with decades of history advocating female expression and we believe it is time to give women in Saudi Arabia the spotlight, starting by improving their visibility in the job market. In doing so, we push the society one step closer to embracing women's talents and capabilities, and self expression.


For too long, women have been kept in the shadows and veiled; both literally and metaphorically. It was time to highlight the talents and capabilities of women in the professional word, starting with women in male-dominated professional industries. The creative idea "Into the Spotlight" was conceived; bringing women out of the shadows, and giving them an opportunity to shine. Using Google Adwords via a digital activation, Lux pushed female professionals to the very top of search results thereby giving women a voice and an opportunity for exposure every time someone searched for professionals in Saudi Arabia.


We found through our search that despite Saudi Arabia having more educated women than men, only 16% of their workforce is female, compared to a global average of nearly 40% and also 76% of unemployed bachelor degree holders are female. Women are clearly underrepresented in the professional industry, which we needed to change.

When hirers and headhunters look for professional services, the first platform they turn to are online search engines, primarily, Google. However, the Google results in the top 5 pages for many professions were dominated by male candidates, with women having almost no visibility.

We carefully analysed the top search terms on Google to identify the most male-dominated fields: Sports trainers, dentists, photographers, among many others, and found a way to bring more exposure and opportunities to them via a digital activation.


On International Women's Day, Lux took over the Google search results of the professional world in Saudi Arabia by shifting all of the media money that would have otherwise been used for regular digital marketing into highlighting female professionals. We purchased hundreds of search terms on Google to ensure that the first result searchers would see is that of a female professionals. The user is directed to a content platform that hosts the stories of these women, and are given an opportunity to reach out to know more. They are also introduced to the activation and the brand philosophy, and finally, encouraged to give women the spotlight in the professional world.

For 2 months, every time someone else bought the same Adwords, we outbid them, keeping women on top, creating a journey that takes the user from considering women, to a nudge towards open-mindedness regarding a larger societal issue.


In just 2 weeks, for over the 450,000 times where people were searching for professional services in male-dominated industries, women were at the top of the Google results. 19,000 of these people considered female professionals over male ones with our message resonating with the audience to an extent that the response rate for the activation was 2x higher than the average Google search ad. The proof of the pudding was that the women we featured experienced a dramatic increase in contact requests for their services since the launch of the campaign, gaining the much-needed opportunity to shine under the spotlight.

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