Bloody Volvo driver campaign - posters don't show car

Down under a campaign for Volvo has been playing with the aussies sterotypes of Volvo drivers, turning them on it's head. Many people thought when the campaign broke last year that the whole idea was a mistake - how can you seriously run a campaign with the line "Bloody Volvo driver" and hope to attract customers with it?
But Steve Blyth, the managing director of Volvo Car Australia has the numbers to back up the success of the campaign. "This latest data confirms what our pre-campaign researched predicted. For the Volvo brand to move forward in Australia, we had to attack the brand's image as well as correct the wrong image of Volvo drivers."

The real proof in a campaigns success isn't how many remember the tagline - which 80% of those surveyed did - but how many would consider buying a Volvo. Those considering to purchase a Volvo has increased from 22 percent to 34 percent of those questioned.

In the commercial (depicted above), a Dutch policeman driving an S60 R catches up to and stops a Porsche driver. Punchline: "Bloody Volvo driver".
This one is the most effective of the five commercials that ran last fall, 85% surveyed correctly identify this ad as a Volvo ad.

Currently running is this rather strange poster campaign.


photos: copyright Lachlan

Hat tip to adgrunt Yaksox for the photographs. Seems - perhaps - that one has to be Australian to get these. Do Volvo drivers in Oz usually have a goatee and glasses? It's strange to look at a campaign that deals with national stereotypes of Volvo drivers when one doesn't have the same preconceived notions of what a Volvo driver looks like.

I'm from the land of Volvo and midnight fun, where everyone drives one (or a Saab) so a Volvo driver to me = really normal person. No goatee required. ;)

AnonymousCoward's picture
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Robblink's picture

I've noticed that advertising in general has gotten edgier. People behaving badly, stealing, cheating, breaking the law, etc. It's all acceptable now. Maybe this is the end of happy, shining people in ads?

Dabitch's picture

Might just be!

But heeeey, now that they've already drawn mustaches all over the dang posters what am I supposed to do with these black markers? ;)

yaksox's picture

> Seems - perhaps - that one has to be Australian to get these.

Hehe. Yeah, I imagine it helps to see the accompanying tv commercial. But then, it's taken me weeks to figure out what that's about too. I reckon you're right Dab -- the urban professional (guy) with goatee and glasses in the ad (I didn't see a poster for him) must be the stereotypical Volvo driver -- and everyone else dresses like that because they wish they were one too.
I originally thought he was having some hallucination and incidentally got into an S40.

deeped's picture

Feels like Volvo finally got their history right and start to use the old ways: "Drive it as if you hate it".

AnonymousCoward's picture

To make sense of it all: Hold posters upside down. Proceed to spin yourself counterclockwise three times. Then scream: "Oy! Oy! Energizer! It'll surprise ya!"

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