Volvo, Virgin Galactic Share Super Bowl Ride

NEW YORK Volvo Cars of North America’s 30-second Super Bowl spot features Richard Branson rocketing into space and offers viewers a chance to win a trip on Virgin Galactic, the U.K. tycoon’s space tourism company.

The ad, by Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York, will air during the third quarter and shows an astronaut taking off into space. As the rocket recedes, we see its “My other vehicle is a Volvo XC90 V8” bumper sticker. A shot of the car climbing a mountain is shown as a voiceover says that the vehicle is powerful. “How powerful is it?” a voiceover asks. Back in the spaceship, the astronaut flips open his helmet, revealing he is Branson. “It’s powerful enough to get you into space,” Branson says. The voiceover then details how viewers can win a ride on Virgin Galactic, expected to start offering trips into space within the next two or three years, by registering at before Feb. 22.

This is the first time Volvo has advertised on the Super Bowl. The Irvine, Calif., company spent about $60 million on advertising between January and November 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.