Grey New York Rings in a Somber New Year for Volvo

By Erik Oster 

Grey recently launched a New Year’s campaign for Volvo, paying homage to the Swedish tradition of reading Alfred, Lord Tennyson‘s poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells” right before the the clock strikes twelve at New Year’s festivities in Stockholm.

The spot quotes the poem, but not in the streets of Stockholm. Rather, it’s played in a Volvo XC60 luxury SUV with the door cracked open while a group of friends gather around a campfire in an undetermined remote location as the snow begins to fall.

Simple yet festive, the spot pays homage to the brand’s Swedish roots while giving a glimpse of at the interior and exterior of the luxury vehicle (and suggesting it has the capabilities to get to…wherever it is these people are camping out).

“Ring Out, Wild Bells” is a nice piece of poetry to ring in the New Year (not to mention it being public domain), and it fits with the trend of agencies turning to famous authors : TBWA\Media Arts Lab and 180LA quoted Maya Angelou in spots for University of Phoenix and the iPhone in August and Droga5 turned to Richard Adams‘ 1972 debut novel Watership Down the following month in a spot for Under Armour starring Cam Newton. In a spot Adweek covered yesterday, The Martin Agency quoted Amelia E. Barr‘s poem “The Farmer” for Land O’Lakes.

It’s also not the first time Grey has turned to this narrative device for the brand, as it quoted Walt Whitman‘s “Song of the Open Road” in a spot for Volvo this past August (which appears to have been a hot month for poetry).

There’s also a 360 degree video for the campaign as well. It’s essentially the same video, but it takes on a more ethereal air toward the end as the viewer’s perspective seems to quite literally float away.