Volvo needs to quickly join up its branding dots

Back in February 2016, Volvo VP of global marketing Thomas Andersson talked to marketing week about the new global vision for Volvo after the launch of their rather cliche ridden yet compelling emotive ad questioning the motivations of automotive manufacturers around the world.

You can read the full interview here. To be honest, I found it a bit confusing. Andersson says, “We want to have a strong social message as if we just went down the same old route as our rivals [with celebrity campaigns] we would just be one of many, we wouldn’t be adding anything new. I believe the public want brands to stand for something important.”

The interview ends with a reference to the brand’s association with Avicii. I don’t know what this is exactly but do associations with DJ’s communicate importance?

Another comment that got my attention was ““Social plays such an important role when it comes to early adopters. They want to engage with Volvo but if we don’t respond quickly they will lose interest and move on. There’s a huge opportunity for us to engage more quickly and be there when people want to talk to us, and these changes enable that to happen.”

Yet the above video was deemed ‘unlisted’ on Youtube and carried a warning to “Be considerate and think twice before sharing.” I’ve never seen that before and seems to go against the very point of posting a video on Youtube. Unsurprisingly then, the video has only been viewed 1,771 times. I was surprised though to see that there was no attempt by Volvo to respond to the three comments.

Not long after I came across this digital ad from Volvo here in Malaysia. I couldn’t make sense of the ad, can you?

What is the point of this ad?
What is the point of this ad?

The Volvo brand has been tinkered with too often and it’s good to see them getting back to their safety roots. I think there is mileage in this approach. But they need to join up the global dots quickly. Local implementation is good but it still needs to be monitored and linked back to the global strategy.


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