Volvo - Made by People (2016) 4:00 (Sweden)

Volvo presumably asked themselves: who makes the best cars. Is it the Italians? The French? The Germans? The Swedes? The result of this is a film, near music video, that shows us the morning routine of people in Gothenburg, Sweden. There's tip-toeing around lego in the dark, slowly waking and warming to candle-light and toast, families gabbing around the breakfast table. Then there's the commute, the dropped off of kids at the daycare, the bikes, the cars, the trams. The mass of people walking into the factory. The conclusion, who makes the best cars? People.

This is the type of film you will either love or hate, it's a long Brand opus with lots of scenic images and lovely car shots. One thing I really hope it settles is that Sweden isn't a "homogeneous" country so many who have never been to Sweden still believe it is. Far from it. Quite far from it.

Edit: To be clear, everyone you see in the ad works at Volvo.

Ad agency: Forsman & Bodenfors

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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kidsleepy's picture

Big ups to the bloke wearing the Pittsburgh Pirates hat at the 2:40 mark. I like this spot. Although it's two minutes too long. And the soundtrack is a little too chest-beating. I suspect the people who work for Volvo do so because it's a job and not out of some sense of national pride although as you say it's nice to see a real Sweden represented and not just blonde haired people which it hasn't been for what, decades now?

Also, I wonder if they were actors or not. Because if they are actual people who work for Volvo, I would have loved to have seen some extended content interviews separate from the spot, so we could get a sense of who these international people really are. I'd want to hear their stories and how they ended up at Volvo, and in Sweden for that matter.

Made By People is a nice thought but unless you're going to share some of their stories, they still just feel like one cog in a machine on the assembly line. Hopefully this will lead to a broader campaign and not just a one-off spot.

Dabitch's picture

I agree, the spot is a little long for my tastes as well, which isn't really helped by the fact that I can't stand the melancholic sound of the song. Though that feeling is very Swedish. They're not actors, these are real Volvo-workers. I would have liked to learn more about Mr designer who drinks espresso in the morning and chats to someone on the phone in... is that Korean? So yeah, some other content showing the people we see here would have been nice. I could see that becoming a campaign. Hey, why not mention the history, when there's was a worker shortage in the 60s Volvo was one of the places that had workers arrive from Yugoslavia and Italy. The whole "made by people", truly opposite of the Fiat "Hand made by robots" ad idea, feels a little "Saturn". The footage and mood is so skillfully done though, it blows that Abby Wambach Mini Superbowl ad out of the water, doesn't it? Someone at Mini please take notes, maybe call F&B.

JDoe's picture

Apparently it's real co-workers starring in the video. Stumbled upon a behind the scenes-video:

Dabitch's picture

Yes, it's real Volvo workers in the ad, and their families. I've made a note in the post to reflect this, sorry, I thought that was dead obvious and that's why I mentioned that Sweden isn't homogeneous. This is what the Volvo factory in Gothenburg actually looks like (when it has superb camerawork and a moodful soundtrack). Thanks for the behind the scenes link, I still hope they'll release short edits of the individuals seen like a branded content campaign.