Volvo plays mix’n’match

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Freemans Bay indie Republik has released the third episode in a new digital video series for Volvo Cars New Zealand, called Sunday Drive Roulette.

“Taking a sunday drive is as Kiwi as Vogels and L&P,” says Republik CD Andrew Sims. “So what better way for Volvo to connect with a New Zealand audience than by tapping into this age-old tradition and then injecting an element of mystery and humour?

“The team at Volvo immediately latched on to the idea. It gave them license to showcase their range of cars on New Zealand roads, but the focus was on real Kiwis experiencing the drive,” Sims said.

“Of course, we all had to take a huge leap of faith. Introducing two complete strangers and then making them spend a whole day together in a car – we genuinely had no idea what would happen [Yeah, right! – Ed].”

Volvo launched the concept back in June, asking the public to submit entries to take part and explain what would make them a good driving partner. “We had so many entries with such varied personalities and backgrounds. It was surprisingly difficult to select the winners,” Republik director Paul McNamara said.

Laugh out loud
“It was fun to match them up and see what happened when they first met. We learned a lot throughout the process, and we loved meeting all the participants. As you can imagine, there were a lot of laughs had along the way.”

“As New Zealand’s fastest-growing luxury European car brand, one of our biggest challenges continues to be Volvo product knowledge – Volvo has evolved so much in the last 10 years, and it’s time this market found out about it.

“Volvo is still a small, challenger brand in the category here, so we needed to think differently about how we connect with our audience.

“The surge of digital video is a well-documented trend, and Google New Zealand has long promoted the importance of online video in the automotive decision-making process for Kiwis in their ‘Think Auto’ series.”

Steering around the clichés
“We wanted to take advantage of the strengths of the medium, but we’d seen so many automotive brands try and fail to create something that was differentiating and genuinely engaging,” Andrew Sims said.

“The clichéd footage of a car driving around a sweeping corner with a beautiful landscape in the background, just wasn’t going to get people to push play.

“The leap of faith appears to have paid off. The second episode released last week, took off with a single, non-paid Facebook post delivering over 4000 views, 500 likes, 203 comments and 37 shares in less than 24 hours – that’s almost unheard of on Facebook unless you’re Red Bull or a Kardashian.”

Republik digital strategist Augusta Grayson said: “It’s nearly impossible to get organic cut-through on Facebook, so we were obviously very lucky to have chosen Natasha (one of the drivers) who ended up having a lot of very active friends on Facebook. Not to mention our great community of Volvo NZ fans.

“The really impressive thing was seeing the response to this video content across all our metrics. It’s blown our previous campaigns out of the water. Not just click-through rate, but also people visiting the website and they’re spending longer looking – and learning – about what Volvo has to offer.”

Volvo NZ streaks past offshore parent
Volvo NZ appointed its creative and media business to Republik in 2014, and Volvo has just reported that they are on track for a third consecutive record year of growth. “Our year-to- date sales growth is five times greater than the brand’s growth rate globally, making our market one of the fastest growing in the world,” said Volvo NZ national manager Coby Duggan.


CD: Andrew Sims
Art Director: Nicole Yeoman
Art Director: Craig Ross
Writer: Adam Taylor
Account Director: Emma Munro
Film Production: Farmer Clark


National Manager – Volvo Cars NZ: Coby Duggan
Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Brittany Gardner

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