In a bid to move into a more premium market space, Volvo has launched a new TV campaign for its XC60 model called “Swell.” The campaign is centred around a film which introduces some of the basic principals that represent the brand's positioning going forward; ambition, simplicity, authenticity and identity (specifically Swedish identity). “Swell” urges viewers to “Seek feeling” in an effort to bring Volvo's “Human-centric” credence to life, and also serves as a precursor to an upcoming campaign for the launch of the new Volvo XC90.
The film introduces some of the basic principals that represent the brand's positioning going forward; ambition, simplicity, authenticity and identity (specifically Swedish identity)
The 60-second ad (below) is the first to be created by Volvo's own “Kreativ” studio, and is the first work from Grey London since the agency was appointed as the brand's lead creative company last December. The spot takes a markedly fresh and unusual approach to automobile advertising, focusing on a Volvo driver enjoying a spot of evening surfing in a beautifully shot piece that echoes the now legendary Guinness “Surfer” ad. According to its makers the film is “About movement; about dynamism and intuitive response – the visceral, emotional experience of the Volvo XC60 brought to life.” The spot broke yesterday on Volvo's YouTube account and official website and will be broadcast throughout Germany, Australia, France, Turkey and Belgium towards the end of the year, and here in the UK in early 2015.
Volvo – Swell
The campaign is the first Grey assignment for global creative director Hollie Newton, who joined the agency from Wieden + Kennedy last year, where she helped create Lurpak's multi-award-winning “Good Proper Food” campaign. Newton said “The last thing the world needs is another overly-retouched car, hooning down a mountain road to a soft rock soundtrack.” She feels the new campaign captures the “Defiant, slightly renegade Swedish spirit” of Volvo, which “Doesn't fit with the bland world of car advertising.” She adds that Grey has “An enormous suite of work coming up for Volvo which challenges the conventions of the sector,” and that this first piece is “A quietly epic piece of film that, hopefully, makes you feel something.”
The spot broke yesterday on Volvo's YouTube account and official website and will be broadcast internationally towards the end of the year
The ad was directed by Marcus Soderlund, who also directed Grey London's recent Vodafone ad. The Gothenburg, Sweden born Soderlund, adds that he feels he has been working through “The four classical elements with Grey: last time it was fire, now water.” He says that working in water was fantastic because “There is so much you just can´t predict or control,” and believes that “If you embrace that (unpredictability), you can get imagery you can’t even dream of.” As very specific weather, moonlight and tidal conditions were required for the highly technical shoot, the time of year made shooting in Sweden impossible. Instead, the film was shot in Durban, South Africa.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK. He attempted to surf on holiday once, but it was far from elegant and more than a little bit painful. Never again.