Shwii is a Zulu indigenous language preference available for use on the navigation app, Waze. It’s a platform hack using the voice-recorder feature on Waze.

The Challenge

You can use Waze in 98 languages locally, including Arabic, Mandarin and even a boy band. But in South Africa, it was still not available in the mother tongue. Zulu (20.6% of pop.) is the most widely spoken home language in SA, but Waze uses English (6.6% of pop.) and Afrikaans (10% of pop.) as the only local options.

We were tasked to create an integrated digital campaign to showcase this philosophy of ‘Nissan Intelligent Mobility’ by using technology to provide safety and a sense of confidence whilst driving.

The Solution

Nissan and TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris hacked Waze’s ‘personal voice recorder’ feature and developed a set of 41 key zulu voice-assist navigation commands. The re-recorded commands use a unique form of Zulu onomatopoeia to help users identify the dangers on the road by actually hearing the danger inside every word to further reduce the chances of negative incidents on the roads. The shareable Shwii by Nissan file allowed the car brand to provide all South African drivers access to unique tech, by capitalizing on the real-time data generated on the Waze platform.  

Waze is used by more than 800,000 South African users and 100,000 daily users. It collects user-generated data on traffic and road conditions from its active communities and immediately analyzes that data to provide other Wazers with the most optimal route. It also helps users navigate their way on their journey safely, by avoiding dangers on the road.

The Results

7.2 million
Earned media impression
Increase in Twitter engagement
Increase in Facebook engagement


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