Volvo ‘Moments’ / Forsman & Bodenfors
This week saw Volvo release a new three-minute film promoting the power of its XC60 SUV’s safety features. ‘Moments’ begins with a view of a little girl frightened about the uncertainty of the first day of school while her mum encourages her to imagine all the good things that could come out of the first day. The girl’s imagination runs rampant as she envisions the friends she could make and the things they would do together. She doesn’t stop there, telling her mum of her dream of travelling the world before settling down to have a family. Alongside these shots are short clips of a woman multitasking in her Volvo XC60 as she rushes to work. The advert concludes as the stressed-out driver almost hits the girl when she steps onto a cross walk on her way to school. The disastrous, life-changing moment is averted by the car's emergency brake system before the line, 'Sometimes the moments that never happen matter the most' appears on screen. Swedish based Forsman & Bodenfors provided creative.
The advert, at three minutes and ten seconds, is a mini epic, resplendent with sweeping imagery and an instrumental soundtrack. The Volvo XC60 only appears in the advert for 30-seconds and, even then, the only feature demonstrated is the emergency brake system. Clearly the work isn’t aimed at the typical petrol head. Instead, the brand is focusing on a very specific audience, one that is focused on a safe and practical family car rather than horsepower and cylinders. In short, a female audience.
Volvo is opening itself up to a wider audience while adverts for competitor models such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 still lag by catering almost exclusively to a male buyer. While those brands choose to target males through bold action sequences and a male driver, ‘Moments’ goes out of its way to reach the ladies. The use of soft focus cinematography appeals to women more than a thumping action-packed sequence would, and the use of a female driver helps viewers to really see themselves buying the car. By choosing to portray itself as safe and practical, rather than sexy and loud, the brand appeals to female drivers, a demographic which research has shown can be uncomfortable with the car buying process.
The advert is just the latest in Volvo’s crusade to employ emotional advertising to sell cars to both genders. Previous work from Forsman & Bodenfors launched in January and likewise took a metaphorical look at the brand’s ethos. ‘The Get Away Car’ matched Volvo’s values with the views of philosopher Alan Watts. A voiceover explained that everyone reaches a point in life when you must choose a new path. Career over passion. Work over play. Creative shows people returning to the things they love, and using Volvo to get them there. The spot ends with the line “You can’t live at all unless you can live fully, now”.
In essence, Volvo sees itself as a lifestyle choice, one that is practical and safe, but does not compromise on style and functionality. So long as Volvo continues to invest in emotion-packed campaigns it is sure to strike a chord with both male and female buyers.