Volvo Launches SUV Campaign Online

Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA) unveiled a new Web site to begin the “pre-launch” phase of a campaign to raise awareness of its new SUV, which officially launches with Volvo’s first-ever Super Bowl ad.

“If you want to make people aware of a new product or brand, there is no bigger audience you can hit on one day,” said John Malone, VCNA’s VP communications.

By advertising during the Super Bowl, Volvo hopes to introduce its first-ever V8-powered vehicle, to give its XC90 range a lift, and to give raise Volvo brand awareness by putting the ad in front of a broad audience, Malone said.

The Super Bowl ad will be followed by a 3-month integrated online/offline campaign for the XC90 V8. It will drive visitors to the new Boldlygo.com Web site. The cross-media campaign was created and will be managed by VCNA’s long-time agency, Euro RSCG Worldwide. The outline is one Volvo has used before, starting with a 2001 campaign to launch its S60 sedan exclusively online, then following up with offline ads three months later.

“Everything we do is integrated,” Malone said. “When we plan a campaign, we try to take a holistic view and include it all from the beginning. We’re not the biggest spenders in the business in terms of overall media, so we really have to be focused and clear about what role each element plays and how they build on one another.”

The online portion of the campaign will comprise about 15 percent of the overall spend, and will include ads placed on automobile and lifestyle sites, Malone said. The XC90 V8 is expected to appeal to older, high-income buyers.

The Boldlygo.com site launched yesterday with a contest to win an “extreme adventure travel” package, such as a zero-gravity jet flight, an Antarctic cruise, or a submarine trip. Malone says the site will go through several iterations as the campaign progresses through the end of March.

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