Ahead of UEFA Euro 2016, Forsman & Bodenfors launched a campaign for Volvo stoking Swedish pride around striker and Sweden national team captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The first lengthy spot, entitled “Prologue,” focuses on the national star’s humble beginnings as the child of Croatian and Bosnian immigrants growing up in a small Swedish suburb. Ibrahimovic relates his story via voiceover as he broodingly watches his own highlight reel and attacks a punching bag until his hands are inflamed. “I didn’t have much,” he says, “just my restless mind and my big dreams.”
“I wanted to go further than anyone else,” he continues as a Volvo V90 speeds down the road, establishing a connection between Sweden’s star soccer player and auto manufacturer,” so I did, my way. I didn’t think like them. I worked harder than anyone, anywhere.”
The big payoff for the connection comes at the end of the spot, with the tagline “Made by Sweden” referencing both the brand and the celebrity endorser. Forsman & Bodenfors’ cinematic anthem ad is set to a soundtrack provided by Hans Zimmer, who has composed or produced for such films as Interstellar, Inception and The Prestige. Clearly Volvo and Forsman & Bodenfors spared no expense in making their effort for the impending European tournament as epic as possible.
“Prologue” made its debut on U.K. social media, digital and video on demand platforms on May 30. Broadcast spots are scheduled for June 17 and 22, when Sweden will play its final group stage matches.
“The campaign is a celebration of the independent mind, of the power that lies in the ability to think differently. There are many similarities between Zlatan’s and Volvo’s journeys,” Anders Gustafsson, senior vice president of Volvo for Europe, Middle East and Africa told The Drum. “We haven’t got to where we are now by doing the same as everyone else.”
This work follows the carmaker decision to pick F&B as its global strategic/creative agency over incumbent Grey London last December. A February campaign then laid out the brand’s future “vision”: no deaths or serious injuries in a Volvo by 2020.