SAUDI ARABIA – Memac Oglivy and SHE (Saudi Heroines Empowering a nation) collaborate with director Omar Hilal for an evocative film that challenges perceptions of Saudi, Arab, and Muslim women. Launched by SHE, an initiative highlighting Saudi heroines, ‘How Well Do You Know Her?’ seeks to challenge negative stereotypes by focusing on women’s achievements, before subverting expectations with a surprising twist.
Directed in a single-shot, talking head style, the film conveys a powerful message. The commercial opens with a long-haired woman, framed closely, who speaks directly to viewers. The empowered and confident woman begins by saying, “You know me well…”, before going on to list awe-inspiring traits and achievements that we celebrate internationally. She is fiercely independent, ambitious, modern, and a career-focused, mother, who also breaks records and scales mountains. In stating these feats she presents herself as inspiring and encouraging to many others. Suddenly, in a subversion of preconceived assumptions, the camera scales back and the woman removes her hair, revealing it to be a wig, to show her wearing a hijab underneath. The film closes with the statement ‘Before you judge us by the way we are covered, know us better.’