Volvo Surrounds S40 With Pop Culture

NEW YORK Volvo Cars of North America is backing off boomers and targeting 25-35-year-olds in a multifaceted campaign for its S40, including two new TV spots from Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners.

“It all starts with the car and then how we can reach 25- to 35-year-old audience. We explored pop culture and came up with a completely integrated campaign,” said Thomas Andersson, executive vice president of marketing at VCNA. “The tone we are using is youthful and confident, but not arrogant.”

Two TV spots, which break today, place the car in music video and video game settings. One features a red S40 cruising in an urban setting to a hip-hop beat, much like a music video, as it literally rains women from the sky. The car’s performance is demonstrated in the form of visuals from Xbox’s RalliSport Challenge 2 video game in the second ad.

The scenarios were selected because they were two areas of pop culture that fetishized cars the most, said Kevin Roddy, executive creative director and partner at the New York agency. RalliSport game developers created footage for the video game commercial, and music video director Dave Meyers directed the music video-style spot. The latter was shot in Barcelona, Spain, and features music from hip-hop group Dilated Peoples. Ernest Lupinacci served as art director and copywriter on the campaign.

The national cable buy will include Comedy Central, ESPN and VH1, plus a substantial broadcast network buy involving shows like CSI, Friends and Alias.

The marketing plan also includes in-theater advertising that will be tied to spring film releases starting in May; magazines such as Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly and Details; billboards; the Internet; direct mail; and partnerships with Virgin Megastores and Bloomingdale’s.

VCNA and Virgin Megastores are offering driving sessions and live performances by recording artist Gavin DeGraw. A promotion will award the winner a trip to the EuroRock concert on Virgin Atlantic, backstage passes and a Volvo S40. The car will also be on display in Bloomingdale’s stores in the U.S. starting March 11, where shoppers can win a getaway sweepstakes.