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Blog/Volvo win the Superbowl

13th August 2020

The NFL Superbowl is one of the world’s most watched TV events with around 100 million people tuning in annually.

As a result, it contains the most lucrative ad slots anywhere, with a 30 second commercial costing on average eye watering $5.6 million.

Despite this, there are no shortages of companies lining up to put their brand in front of such a large captive audience.

But how to get a piece of the action if your marketing budget doesn’t quite stretch to multiple millions?

Well, Volvo, Swedish car manufacturer managed to wrestle the attention away from TV screens for a fraction of the cost fronted by Superbowl XLIX, by working smart, not hard and ended the game as the only car manufacturer to trend globally.

The first step in their audacious campaign was to donate a car to US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who gave it away on his show, announcing details of Volvo’s Twitter-only contest to win a Volvo XC60.

All users had to do was to Tweet #VolvoContest whenever they saw an ad for another car company – Mercedes, Lexus, Fiat & Nissan among them – during the Superbowl coverage.

By getting users to do this, Volvo immediately hijacked the adspace, diverting attention away from deep-pocketed automobile advertisers, and on to them, as eyes were focussed firmly on Twitter, ignoring the lavishly made and costly tv ads they were meant to be watching.

Not only did this result in Volvo trending globally with over 55,000 people Tweeting using #VolvoContest, but it also led of a 70% spike in sales of the XC60 the following month.

Having worked with companies who’ve had a seemingly infinite marketing and advertising budget, and those with barely anything to spend, and there’s very little doubt which of the two is more agile, more creative and more dynamic.

Well done Volvo – guerilla marketing at its very best.

Maddison Creative 2020