Volvo's Naughty S60 Experiment

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 28, 2010 02:00 PM

Brandchannel recently took a peek at Perrier's risque business with burlesque artist Dita Von Teese. Now comes word from the U.K. of Volvo's European launch of its S60 model — or as Volvo calls it, the Naughty S60. 

Volvo, trying to shake its image as a family-friendly brand, recently hosted underground parties in London, Paris, Milan, Berlin and Madrid. In addition to hip musical acts (such as Facehunter and Lykke Li), to drive word of mouth Volvo invited a mix of hipsters, bloggers and celebrities.

A mobile augmented reality app guided guests to the hidden parties. But that's not what made it all (and one event in particular) particularly naughty.

As creativematch notes, unknown to party-goers, hidden within each party was a series of experiments, "carefully designed to measure guests’ naughtiness, conformity, daring, confidence, curiosity and desire."

Over 3,000 partygoers were secretly filmed (check out the videos on Volvo's Subject360 YouTube channel) to see if they were tempted to ‘break the rules’ throughout the party. The conclusion: Paris is officially the ‘Naughty Capital of Europe’.

Organizer Rob Leach told creativematch: “Our challenge was to create events which would capture the naughty side of the new Volvo S60. This campaign was the perfect way to attract and engage a new younger audience and get them to reappraise Volvo. The carefully crafted series of experiments mixed in seamlessly with the party atmosphere, bringing Volvo’s positioning of the new S60 to life in a memorable and entertaining way.”

The experiental branding, in addition to social media marketing, certainly built on the positioning for the S60. But one question remains: why "naughty"?

Michael Persson, Volvo's head of global marketing, explains: "The all-new Volvo S60 is a particularly dynamic car with an exciting design and innovative safety features. We are showing what it can actually do and just how much fun it is to drive."


David Veal United States says:

There is creativity, then there is just plain 'go out of the way to make a point no matter how useless it is". I  guess the Volvo company had a reason to throw a wimpy word like naughty into their brand association bag. But this was so unassociated, so non-brand centric, that it was a waste of digital space.

July 29, 2010 08:41 AM #

Shirley Brady United States says:

So the only thing naughty about it was trying to slip one past the consumer, then? I'm inclined to agree: calling something "naughty" doesn't make it so, especially when it's such a big leap from where the brand was at before making that claim.

July 29, 2010 09:34 PM #

Spencer Hudson United States says:

Naughty? So says Volvo ... the video, at least, is worth a watch.

July 29, 2010 09:43 PM #

George Martino United Kingdom says:

Can't blame Volvo for trying to shift perceptions (safe, boring) of their brand. However, the link is tenuous at best. Better luck next time

August 2, 2010 04:13 AM #

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