Cannes Lions

The Stagecoach of the Desert Cowboys - Media


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ŠKODA turned its first 7-seat all-terrain vehicle, the Kodiaq, into “The Stagecoach of the Desert Cowboys”: a free transportation service to connect the desert's communities three times a week with the closest urban area, Tabernas. To book a seat, inhabitants just need to make a phone call, which is answered directly by the driver.

With this modern stagecoach—in service for a minimum of two years—the brand offered a transport solution to the desert’s residents, giving them access to services that are only available in Tabernas, and improving their quality of life, helping them to remain in the area in which they live.

In addition to solving a genuine problem, placing a car in the region was intended to be a mobile social critique, showing how a brand is more capable of solving a problem than the government up until now, and generating publicity and interest around the issue.


To publicize the service’s route and schedule, graphic material was placed in local towns, and a website was launched where users can also check the status of the service in real time and view ratings. To book a seat, residents just call a phone number, which is answered by the driver.

To raise awareness of the service and provide visibility for the issue, ŠKODA shot an on-site Western-themed advertisement starring local residents. The Western style helped reinforce the area’s importance as a film location.

To give residents a voice, a documentary of the Stagecoach’s first trip was broadcast on DMAX, as well as several interviews featuring residents.

In addition, to economically revitalize the area, the brand proposed involving film stars and promoting the desert's locations, sponsoring the Almería Western Film Festival and creating ad hoc content for media devoted to film.


By April 2018, 337 passengers had used the service, which enabled them to get to the closest urban area and easily perform activities such as shopping (80% of people), going to the doctor (80%) or visiting family (20%).

The Stagecoach has provided a job for the father of a family, who became its driver, and helped revitalize the area: the number of film shoots forecast for 2018 has increased 20%.

More than 200 media outlets talked about depopulation, reopening the discussion and, at the start of 2018, the government announced a new plan to combat the problem.

All of this generated earned media worth 1 million euros, brand awareness grew by 2.8%, and requests for the Kodiaq rose 97%.

150 villages at risk of depopulation have asked ŠKODA for help.

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2019, SKODA

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