Volvo Captures the Joy, Exhaustion and Constant Dangers of Parenting

Campaign by Forsman & Bodenfors shows a couple struggling to keep up with their two toddlers—with a heart-stopping twist

Global campaign employs shock and comedy to position Volvo as a family car. Volvo / forsman & bodenfors

Parenthood, if Volvo’s new PSA is anything to go by, is exhausting, funny and fraught with moments of danger—where your role becomes stopping your kids from climbing out of a cot, falling downstairs or banging their heads on sharp corners while trying to get them to eat and sleep.

In a new global campaign for the car brand, which parents will find relatable, agency Forsman & Bodenfors in Sweden shows a couple struggling to keep up with their two energetic toddlers and navigating all of the comedic moments that come with the job, including making endless late night and early morning trips to the supermarket for diapers, all while operating on very little sleep.

But the hero film, as you might imagine from such a safety-centric auto brand, also has a heart-stopping twist.

As the momentum of the film builds, the mother is seen, exhausted, driving down a road and almost drifts into oncoming traffic, but is saved by a Volvo XC60 and XC90 safety feature that steers her back on course.

In the second version of the film, the family is seen strapping into their car and backing up—only to be stopped from doing so as an HGV hurtles past. The films end with the message: “The car that looks after you like you look after others.”

The father in the film is played by Swedish actor Fares Fares, who has appeared in Westworld, Chernobyl and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the mother is played by Swedish actress Ana Gil de Melo Nascimento, known for her roles in numerous Swedish TV series. 

The ad is set to the 1965 Pete Seeger track Hard Times in the Mill.

The agency has also created a series of short videos for social media, in which children suddenly find themselves in potentially dangerous situations but are quickly saved by their parents. The videos are taken from clips that have gone viral.

Client: Louise Ahlström, Volvo
Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
Art directors: Sophia Lindholm, Karl Risenfors, Leo Dal
Copywriters: Hampus Elfström, Nicholas Düfke
Client director: Magnus Wretblad
Account executive: Katarina Klofsten
Agency producer:Lena Sellman
PR: Bjarne Darwall
Planner: Daniel Sjöstrand
Web design: F&BInhouse
Artwork: Martin Joelsson
Media agency: Mindshare
Director: Niclas Larsson
Producer: Joel Rostmark, Adam Holmström
Production company: New Land
D.O.P: Linus Sandgren
Executive Producer: Sophie Tamm Christensen
Stylist: Denise Östholm
Production designer: Simone Grau Roney
Editor: Carla Luffe
Grade: Sofie Borup, Comapny 3
Sound design: Ellinor Nilsson, Chimeny
Online post-producer: Chimney
Stills photographer: Patrik Johäll/ Superstudios
Music composition: Hard Times in the Mill
Performed by: Pete Seeger
Publishing rights controlled by: Smithsonian Folk Ways Recordings

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.