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Client: NISSAN 

Product: Brand

Media: Social, Digital, Radio & Audio, Integrated, Design

Year: 2021

Role: Chief Creative Officer

Nissan technology and innovation are key brand values. But in South Africa, technology doesn’t favour local indigenous languages. Siri, Alexa and other voice-assistant technologies don’t speak these languages so when drivers use navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze, translation becomes an obstacle while driving. Waze, the crowd-sourced navigation app uses 98 different languages but we still can’t use it in our most widely-spoken home language, isiZulu. The only local language options available are English (5th most spoken) and Afrikaans (3rd most spoken). isiZulu-speaking drivers need to constantly translate before responding to any of the commands.


So we created Shwii by Nissan, the first voice assist on the Waze platform using re-recorded isiZulu voice commands, targeted directly at isiZulu speaking drivers of all vehicle brands. This innovative platform hack removed the need for translation, allowing drivers to intuitively navigate in a language they truly understand, creating a safer more inclusive driving experience whilst on the road. This hack is easily downloaded via a shareable link on the Waze app, proving that communicating with indigenous languages need not come at a cost. By using Waze’s voice recorder feature, we were able to re-record 41 key commands. Waze then generates a shareable link which we converted to a QR code and Short URL links which directed users to the language preference on their mobile phone via the Waze app. Social media, emailers, radio advertisements and instore posters we used to advertise the campaign as well as share the link.


Based off its success Nissan is busy rolling out three new local language preferences for various indigenous cultures, namely isiXhosa, Sesotho and Setswana. The relatively low cost of the hack enables Nissan to use technology to speak to local audiences in a language they understand.


Ad Age: “Endearing local residents by promoting native African languages.”

Fast Company: “World Changing idea, 2022.”

Contagious: “Nissan has found a fitting way to connect with the local audience.”


When the campaign launched Facebook engagement grew by 154.35%. Twitter, a key platform for this audience, saw an engagement increase of 424%. Earned media, which reflects the appetite for this idea, reached 7 224 508 impressions. We did this all for less than $5k as opposed to the cost of $75000 which Google (who own Waze) initially asked when we approached them. Hacking the platform was an extremely cost effective way to achieve these results. Nissan is now rolling out 3 new languages namely IsiXhosa, Setswana and Sesotho. Our Fast Company win as well as the Ad Age and Contagious mentions signal a technological innovative hack creating a more inclusive, safer, driving experience for motorists.


Shwii serves as an extension of the Nissan Intelligent mobility philosophy, a set of vehicle features that helps keep drivers and passengers safe on our roads.

4 x Shortlists


1 x Grand Prix

2 x Gold Loeries

1 x Silver Loerie

1 x Bronze Loerie

1 x Wood Pencil


1  x Grand Prix
(Umpetha Award)

6 x Gold Pendorings

Screenshot 2019-01-25 at 08.29.42.png

2 x Creative Circle Ad of the Year

Digital and Radio & Audio

Honourable mention


2 x Bronze Bookmark

Case Film

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