Press Releases

Volvo introduces its single biggest brand campaign to date called “Life on Board”



Following the unconventional Mystery of Dalarö and Route V50 campaigns for their All New S40 and V50 launches, Volvo Car Corporation delivers their most extensive brand campaign to date. 
Again utilizing mass media to create awareness and buzz for the full story on the Internet, Volvo presents a series of documentaries for their entire sedan, estate and XC range featuring authentic conversations between people who reveal their extraordinary stories about life while on the road.
The creative idea was simple: put some interesting people in the new Volvo cars, set them on an interesting journey, and then let them talk about life. The conversations are deep and frivolous, emotional and superficial, and above all – real. An automotive product demonstration like no other. Global Advertising Director Tim Ellis says, “The starting point of this campaign was the starting point of Volvo: ‘Cars are driven by people.’ In exploring this concept, the more we spoke to people about real life inside their cars, the more we understood just how powerful, important and intimate that experience can be.”


Finding special people who embrace life
Volvo and their advertising agency, Fuel Europe, searched the globe for people with interesting life stories. They were chosen based on their experiences and outlook on life. So, while they are in no way Volvo spokespeople or endorsers of products, their conversations reflect Volvo values and the positioning of their individual models. For example, the conversations in the film promoting the new XC70 cross country focus on adventure and passion. One of the passengers is Bethany Hamilton, a 14-year-old surfing champion who recently survived a vicious shark attack and then went back into the water within a month to compete again. Bethany’s companion, the driver of the car, is Greta Kuntzweiler, a top U.S. jockey. Their conversation moves easily from heavy subjects such as dealing with the fear of sharks and catastrophic riding accidents, to Bethany’s all-time favourite TV-show. 
In the film for the new V70 station wagon, the subjects are more about balancing family needs with individual needs and desires. The driver is Chris Gardner, one of the most successful stock brokers on Wall Street who was once homeless with his two-year-old son , living on the streets of San Francisco. His companion is Dr. Richard Wiseman. A British psychologist and author of “The Luck Factor”, Dr. Wiseman studies why some people are lucky and others are not. Is Chris just lucky? Or, is there something more to it?


A more modern way of selling – a proven formula for Volvo
Tim Ellis says, “All of these people give testimonials on life, not on our cars. Of course, our aim is to sell more cars. And we know from sharing this concept with customers that people do take out a lot of key messages about safety, comfort, high technology and performance. The passengers are relaxed and confident, and they use and demonstrate the car naturally. So, we’re selling, too. We just don’t use the traditional car advertising formula. Instead, we pull people in to get them more interested in Volvo, rather than pushing our messages out there.” 
The strategy is a continuation of the approach used in the highly successful All New S40 Mystery of Dalarö and V50 Route V50 campaigns. Simon Pride, European director for Volvo’s European advertising agency says, “We learned a lot from those campaigns about how to reach a new Volvo audience. We have created a voice for Volvo and it appears to be working. We know there are a lot of Volvo buyers out there who just don’t know it yet. This campaign is just one more step toward achieving that goal.”


Life on Board will continue with films for other Volvo models
Volvo has launched films for use throughout Europe and Asia for the XC90, S60, XC70 and V70. Films are currently in production for the S80 and S40.
Further information
The films can be seen at "Related Information" or at:


Contacts Volvo Car Corporation
Christer Gustafsson, Corporate Spokesman
(+46 31 596 525,
Tim Ellis, Director of Global Advertising and Sales Promotions
(+46 73 333 0583,




Volvo S60


Luigi Colani
The German industrial designer Luigi Colani is known throughout the design world for his uncompromising vision. He has turned his hand to everything from cars to cameras, shoes to sunglasses and from lighters to aircraft with 80M wingspans. He describes his work as, ‘doing no more than imitating the truths revealed to me by nature’. He is currently working on the Shanghai ‘bio-city’ project.


Lucy Orta
Lucy Orta is a British contemporary artist whose sculptures, wearable objects and performance work comment on the relationships between individuals and their environments. She first came to the public attention in 1992 with ‘Refuge Wear’ a series of portable shelters that combined architecture, fashion and social activism. The most widely exhibited of these, ‘Habitent’, recently featured in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ promo, “Can’t Stop”.
Lucy continues to explore notions of identity, shared space and networking through the ongoing ‘Nexus Architecture’ project - a series of garments that connect to one another, infinitely.


Volvo XC90


Jaime Lerner
Brazilian Jaime Lerner trained as an architect and urban planner. However, it was as mayor of Curitiba that he truly gained international recognition. His visionary ideas on non-competitive public transport, humanistic architecture and urban planning transformed this chaotic third-world city into one of the world’s best places to live (citizens refer to it as ‘Utopia’). Today he works as an urban planning consultant for cities all over the world, and is president of the International Union of Architects.


Flavia Sparacino
As an interactive technology inventor, museum exhibit designer and fellow of MIT, Flavia established Sensing Places, a company dedicated to creating cutting edge exhibition spaces. She has created these "interactive narrative environments" for museums, corporate headquarters, retail stores, theatres, theme parks, airports, and cities around the world. Her emphasis is on natural interfaces, that through advanced computer vision algorithms and electronic sensors, allow people to freely interact with physical objects, digital images, videos, graphics, and lights. She has designed museum installations for MOMA, SFMOMA, and Milan's La Scala Opera theatre.
A Nominated Knight of the Republic of Italy, she holds six academic degrees,
a PhD from MIT, and works as a technology consultant for large architecture studios and museums around the world.


Volvo V70


Chris Gardner
Twenty years ago, Chris Gardner was jobless, homeless and sleeping in a bus station with his two-year-old son. He went on to establish Gardner Rich & Co., a multimillion-dollar brokerage firm. Under Gardner’s direction, GRC donates at least 10% of its annual profits to community projects. A movie based on his incredible rags-to-riches story is currently in production.


Prof. Richard Wiseman
One of the youngest ever members of the Magic Circle, Richard Wiseman went on to become a leading psychologist - his interest in the techniques of magic evolving into a fascination with his subjects’ responses to the tricks he was playing on them.
Following ten years of study into people’s approach to and understanding of luck, Richard published his findings. ‘The Luck Factor’ recently became a bestseller.
He is professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at Hertfordshire University and in 2002 received the Joseph Lister Award for the Advancement of Science.


Volvo XC70


Bethany Hamilton
On Halloween, 2003, thirteen-year-old Bethany Hamilton was attacked by a shark while surfing near Tunnels Beach, Hawaii. Despite losing her left arm at the shoulder and 60 percent of her blood, she was back in the water a month later.
This year she has been honoured by both ESPY and Teen Choice with awards for her Comeback and Courage, respectively. She continues to surf, and despite her disability, is ranked top five for her age group.


Greta Kuntzweiler
American horse racing fans will know the name Greta Kuntzweiler. As one of a handful of female jockeys, she has cut a swathe through this traditionally male sport. She is a regular face on the Kentucky racing circuit and was nominated as best newcomer in 2000. Despite breaking her back, her ankle and dislocating her shoulder, she always gets back on the horse and continues to compete regularly.



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