Volvo Readies Efforts for Summer, Fall

NEW YORK Volvo will support its S40 Sedan, which launched in March, and new V50 Wagon with non-traditional marketing efforts this summer, followed by TV and print in the fall, via Havas-owned Euro RSCG in New York.

TV, print and outdoor will tout the Wagon as an active lifestyle carryall, with the tag, “Full of life.” TV will team the Wagon and S40 in ads to run in the top 20 markets. The budget for the push was not revealed. Overall, the client spends about $70 million annually on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Besides pitching the vehicles to younger buyers, the campaign, aimed at 25-34 year olds, positions Volvo as fun, not just safe. John Mulroney, vp, marketing, said the median age for Volvo owners is about 40. The two-stage rollout of the vehicle began last month with a “Dunes and Tunes” event, putting the vehicle, as well as S40 and XC90, at several beach venues with Volvo-sponsored bands and sand sculpture competitions.

As a follow-up, Volvo will stage aerial flyovers at 20 beaches this August, with planes pulling banners that show a full side shot of the V50. In September, Volvo will launch an outdoor campaign in 15 markets, with 10-15 billboards in each, showing the vehicle’s silhouette, with the hatchback open and Miami-based pop artist named Romero showing his art. Volvo has just launched an outdoor campaign for S40, as well, that mounts the actual vehicle on boards. 3-D billboards will be posted in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

A fall print effort for the S40 is also in the works. Inserts will appear in September editions of Car and Driver, Road & Track and Motor Trend. Text reads, “Invigorating new fragrance from Volvo for men, for women.” The tear-off smells like tire rubber.

Mulroney said the challenge is changing the perception, especially among younger buyers, that Volvo is for the older crowd.