March 21, 2006
New Volvo Advertisement

Volvo has launched a new television spot parodying a broadcast news report about how the population is expanding and people are living longer. What's to blame? Volvo, of course, becuase of the safety features of their cars.

I first saw the ad while watching a rerun episode of Saturday Night Live and thought it was an SNL-produced commercial for a little while until I realized that it was from Volvo.

I personally found it pretty engaging and creative, a great way to catch the viewer with an entertaining commercial clearly linked the product, so as to avoid the problem that shows like this often run into by having a creative commercial that people remember without the product itself being an essential part of the message.

On the downside--I've always considered Volvo a car whose price isn't accessible to everyone, so the idea that people are living longer becuase Volvo is protecting the life of the population does undermine one message that Volvo has often sent--that of being a car to aspire to, a car that not everyone can own. Maybe they are trying to change their image in that regard, to be considered a more mainstream car than before.

But, overall, an effective campaign. Anyone else have any thoughts on it?



I thought it was clever. I actually watched it. Then again I already know they have safe cars...

On March 23, 2006 at 5:18 AM, Sam Ford said:

I think the commercial was definitely a creative way to reinforce their longstanding reputation rather than trying to branch into any new terrain, but what a terrific way to restate it by using the ironic tone and creating a real attention-grabber. Very similar to what GEICO has done, except their commercial seems much more directly related to the product than most GEICO commercials.


As a consumer of the ad, I don't like it. That doesn't mean that the ad isn't a "good" ad in terms of accomplishing whatever the heck they were trying to accomplish. Obviously, annoying and attention-getting ads (spongmonkeys anyone?) have a certain impact.

But we've seen the ad a few times in prime-time and I was just waxing negatively about it last night, in fact. Their thesis - the world is overpopulated because Volvo cars stop you from DYING - is kinda horrible.

I mean "safety" is a word about warmth and protection, it's not about "not dying" - so I guess Volve is changing the conversation etc. But I don't want to hear it.

And even sarcastically suggesting that this leads to overpopulation - a real problem in other parts of the world - is just somewhat insensitive.

It doesn't make me feel good and it doesn't make me feel good about Volvo. They aren't Pepsi and shouldn't be advertising like it.

All IMHO, of course.

On March 26, 2006 at 10:13 PM, Sam Ford said:

Well, you provide an interesting look at the logic of the advertisement. Obviously, the making light of a serious issue like overpopulation with a ludicrous suggestion about Volvo being the answer was meant for cleverness and irony and not to make light of overpopulation, in my opinion.

But as I mentioned before, the logic of the Volvo ad falls through on the aspect of it causing overpopulation because it implies everyone could afford a Volvo, which is not the case. If Volvo is supposed to be viewed at least somewhat as a luxury car, they are undercutting part of their own appeal with the commercial.

The humorous nature may cause all of this to be invalid, depending on your opinion, but I think that is where the true logical fallacy with the comercial lies.