NEW YORK The first Volvo campaign from Arnold and Nitro introduces the theme, "Life is better lived together."
Launching today in movie theaters in the U.S. and on TV next week, six commercials showcase a variety of Volvo models, including the new S80, the carmaker's flagship luxury sedan.
In the 60-second spot "The Meeting," a glamorous woman relaxes on a yacht with three men of uncertain provenance. After receiving a text message, she bolts from their table and begins sprinting toward the front of the boat as a black helicopter races alongside to meet her.
Meanwhile, a stylish man drives around the city, making seemingly illicit deals in shady parts of town.
The two eventually meet and it is revealed that the man is giving the woman diamonds because it is their anniversary.
Volvo's 6-year-old tagline, "Volvo. For life," remains.
"We didn't want to be one of those agencies that come in and just change the tag line," said Peter Favat, CCO at Arnold in Boston. "The brand idea is that life is better lived together. In some ways, you'll see that coming through the Web."
Havas' Arnold and independent Nitro won the $150 million Volvo account in April following a review. Euro RSCG in New York was the incumbent and had positioned the car as being safe, while the new work focuses on togetherness. The latter still handles interactive for Volvo and will launch new work by year's end. Interactive, which is still in development, by Havas' Euro RSCG 4D, is set to launch later this year.
For this campaign, Arnold and Nitro worked collaboratively, much the way Arnold does with MDC's Crispin Porter + Bogusky on the American Legacy "Truth" campaign, said Favat.
"Volvo has always stood for safety, and thus seen as a caring an responsible brand," said Tim Ellis, Volvo's director of global advertising, in a statement. "The 'life is better lived together' global platform add emotion and clarity to the brand."
Volvo marks a return to the car category for Arnold, which had handled Volkswagen for many years before that business shifted to Crispin in 2005.
"Volvo needed to go past the rational place of just safety and the brand needed more of an emotional injection so people can attach themselves to the brand," said Favat. "In some ways, it's like the work we used to do for VW."