Volvo Picks AKQA as Its Lead Digital Agency

By Patrick Coffee 

The international Volvo Car Corporation has chosen AKQA as lead digital agency on its global business after an unannounced review.

From a company spokesperson:

“We can confirm that we have selected AKQA to be Volvo Cars Agency of Record for Digital, CRM and Social Media for strategy, development, content and data analytics.”


Volvo’s last agency review began in the summer of 2013 and ended nearly six months later with the selection of Grey London as lead creative shop and R/GA as digital AOR.

That move ended the client’s six-and-a-half year relationship with Arnold Worldwide. At the time, we ran an internal note from Robert LePlae, who was then the agency’s global CEO; he told staffers that Arnold had decided not to defend the business thanks largely to “changes in Sweden in 2012.”

After the conclusion of this latest review, Volvo will no longer work with now-former digital lead R/GA. (That shop’s most recent notable campaign for the client was “Volvo Reality,” a VR collaboration with VFX studio Framestore that earned coverage in Digiday and other trade pubs.)

Volvo will retain Grey London as its primary creative shop; its relationship with Forsman & Bodenfors of “Epic Split” fame will also be unaffected.

For context, both Forsman and Grey have released work for Volvo over the past two months; on Monday the former shop launched a spot starring superstar DJ Avicii, and Grey London’s 2015 work to date includes an illuminated bike stunt and “Swedish Air,” a spot promoting the company’s new filtration system without including any images of Volvo products.

Neither client nor agency has announced the win publicly, but AQKA has already begun hiring to service its newest account: its homepage includes a job listing for creative director based in the shop’s Gothenburg, Sweden office which mentions the ability to “attract and recruit exceptional talent.” (Volvo, currently owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, has its international headquarters in Gothenburg.) Other open positions in the same office include analytics lead, CRM lead, and group account director.