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TBWA\Hunt Lascaris Hacks Waze to Create Zulu-Language Audio Commands for Nissan

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Agency uses ‘personal voice recorder’ feature on Waze to create a series of 41 key Zulu voice-assist navigation commands

TBWA\Hunt Lascaris Hacks Waze to Create Zulu-Language Audio Commands for Nissan

How does a car manufacturer hack an internationally popular navigation app to provide a previously unconsidered South African market with unique tech aimed at keeping them safe on the road? Enter Nissan Shwii – a downloadable series of Zulu-language audio commands compatible for use on the Waze platform.

Waze, the turn by turn navigation app, is used by more than 800,000 South African users, with 100,000 daily users, and offers real-time traffic reports and optimal route selections in 98 language options - including Arabic, Mandarin ‘Boy Band’ and ‘Batman’. Zulu, although the most widely-spoken language in South Africa (20.6% of population), is not offered as an option.   

Shwii started with TBWA\Hunt Lascaris hacking the ‘personal voice recorder’ feature on Waze to create a series of 41 key Zulu voice-assist navigation commands; and resulted in a shareable link accessed via the Waze app from which users can download Zulu commands in male or female voice options. 

Tessa Cooke, general manager for marketing communications at Nissan South Africa, says: “Shwii is an extension of what our brand stands for. Not only does it drive innovation and the functional use of technology; it also has local relevance, leveraging the vibrancy of South Africa’s cultures in a disruptive way. This is testament to our brand ethos of ‘innovation that excites’, and we can’t wait for what the future holds, including the roll-out of other language options on Shwii."

The creative team behind this project are Carl Willoughby, ECD, Sanele Ngubane from Samish, and Thule Ngcese. 

Nissan Motor corporation is a Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Japan. As any global brand the ability to resonate with a local audience is always a challenge. By developing a campaign that literally speaks one of 11 local languages we created a great sense of local understanding based on strong local insights that tap into the isiZulu language. 

Nissan prides itself on not just being a car company but a tech company at heart. A whole host of technology has been developed over the years under the Nissan Intelligent Mobility name to help keep our drivers safe on the road, tech such as Nissan Intelligent Lane Departure warning, or Nissan Intelligent Forward Collision warning. This ‘hack’ helps remove another obstacle on the roads, namely language, by eliminating the need for the driver to translate English voice commands into isiZulu. This facilitates quicker more accurate driver responses, helping them anticipate the dangers on the road in their own language. 

The team at TBWA commented: "To collaborate with Waze, the navigation platform, would have required an initial cost of $75000. Rather pricey for our market and would only have lasted two weeks. We needed to find a more economical option which could last longer than the two week period. Waze has a voice recorder facility for all the commands. So we developed a set of 41 key Zulu voice-assist navigation commands; and resulted in a shareable link accessed via the Waze app from which users can download Zulu commands in male or female voice options. This entire production cost us less than $5000. The team ensured the isiZulu commands used a form a isiZulu onomatopoeia to ensure the driver could hear the danger inside every word. 

"As an agency, TBWA Hunt Lascaris prides itself on being locally relevant yet globally competitive. Nissan is a global brand so by tapping into strong local language insights we were able to develop more disruptive locally relevant work. We’ve even managed to ‘arrive” at the local Loeries advertising awards by picking up a bronze, silver, two golds and a Grand Prix in the non-english radio category. A massive endorsement by our creative industry. We couldn’t be more proud of this campaign."

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Categories: Automotive, Cars

TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg, Tue, 02 Nov 2021 13:41:14 GMT