Volvo on Film

While I appreciate Debra Goldman’s point of view regarding Volvo’s tie-in with The Saint (Postscript, April 14), there are a number of points she overlooked.

First, Volvo had a reason to be in this film because it had a history with the Saint character. In the TV series starring Roger Moore, the Saint’s car was Volvo’s earlier coupe, the P 1800.

Second, Volvo did not pay millions of dollars to be in the film. We did not pay any fee to be in the film. We agreed with Paramount to do an ad which featured both our car and The Saint just prior to the opening of the film. We agreed on the size and placement of the media and the creative content of the spot. The result was a Volvo commercial that captured people’s attention and drove traffic into dealerships. The media buy seemed bigger than it was because it reflected Paramount’s buy for the film. We both won on that front.

A point Goldman missed was that the Volvo also appeared in the theatrical trailer for the film. The trailer typically shows on more screens than the film does, and trailers run for several weeks. While Goldman was disappointed with the movie, it finished No. 2 in the box office its first week and No. 3 in the second weekend. So somebody must have liked it.

Finally, film placements can put your product in the kind of environments you could not achieve through traditional advertising channels. In Volvo’s case, we wanted to show people there were exciting things happening at Volvo. We integrated the Saint theme into our dealer meeting and our dealer training programs. It was a great enthusiasm builder. Remember I said it helped get you exposure in places your advertising couldn’t? Well, it did get Goldman to devote a column to Volvo, didn’t it?

Robert C. Austin

Director, marketing communications

Volvo Cars of North America, Rockleigh, N.J.


Integrating Direct Marketing

I was intrigued to read Michael Schrage’s article on Lester Wunderman’s latest book, Being Direct (Suits, Feb. 17). It raised some questions. And a fundamental error. Schrage is comparing the Wunderman of the ’90s versus the David Ogilvy of the ’60s (Confessions of an Advertising Man). It may have been better to use Ogilvy on Advertising (1983), which makes a clear and still relevant case for integrated marketing programs.

At O&M, we believe the creative idea is even more important in today’s complex, information-packed world. To cut through the clutter, a communication must be simple, single-minded and memorable. It must contain a big idea. Otherwise, as our founder says, ‘it will pass like a ship in the night.’

Schrage notes there isn’t much discussion about collaboration between Wunderman and Y&R. Integrated marketing is a concept alive and well at O&M, as barriers between advertising and direct blur. Every day, we discuss the most effective and unbiased strategies for our clients. We have a way of making the process work and which encourages these sorts of discussions.

Direct versus brand is somewhat irrelevant in today’s marketplace. The form and nature of integration across disciplines, media and target audiences is absolutely relevant.

David Brown

Managing Director

Ogilvy & Mather Direct, Los Angeles

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