There’s a new Volvo commercial on that is very effective. It’s getting me to think about it more than I want to. The set-up: Woman driving a Volvo down a road on a spit of land. Behind her is her father? The passenger seats are occupied with what looks to be her brothers (in their 20s). The guy in front scrolls through photos on his Hasselblad - a bride, the old guy raising a toast. The older guy pensively plays with a male wedding band. The woman sees him, punches up a song I don’t recognize on the radio. The man touches her shoulder, she smiles at him in the mirror. Down the road they go.
What the fuck is going on? Who does the ring belong to? Why does the guy in the rear with the older guy just stare out the window? How is this supposed to make me want to buy a Volvo? Talk about the commercial, sure. But buy one? Not based on this 60 second bit. Anybody have an amusing or insightful story for this ad?
This commercial? The description at that site says, “On a quiet ride home from a wedding, the bride’s family reminisces together in a shared sentimental silence over photos, memories and a song that brings a smile to the father’s face.”
Edited to add, the song is, apparently, Every Time the Sun Comes Up by Sharon Van Etten. Not that I recognized it or anything.
I’ve had the same question. I did NOT get the “happy couple just got married and are reminiscing with Dad” vibe. It seemed much more…melancholy. Like the older guy just buried HIS wife, based on the way he was looking at the ring.
I don’t see anything remarkable about this ad, and I find it extremely insulting that jackasses in marketing departments so often think that this kind of imagery and sound would resonate with me–that there is anything at all I would identify with. They really have no clue about me at all.
This is what DVRs were made for, and the higher the FF speed the better.
After a wedding, the mother of the bride is driving the rest of her family home. The happy couple are not in the car; they’re headed to their honeymoon somewhere. We are seeing the other family members who attended the wedding.
The ring belongs to the father of the bride. His daughter’s wedding has reminded him of his own wedding, and he plays with his ring and touches his wife on the shoulder as he reflects on his marriage.
He’s also reflecting on the wedding, and whatever emotions it brought up for him.
It’s supposed to make you associate the Volvo with happy family occasions.
That’s how this type of branding commercial works. It’s not telling you to run out and immediately buy a Volvo; it’s telling you to associate the Volvo brand with family and positive emotions.
I think it’s sweet. Even if the marketing doesn’t resonate with you, it’s almost certainly been tested and found to resonate with some segment of the car-buying population.
The narrative is made unclear by their refusal to hire an actress who looks older than 42. You don’t immediately see her and think, ‘matriarch of the family.’ It’s just some lady you have to figure out.
Were it not for the camera pictures (young bride who isn’t in the car, older man raising a toast looking exactly like he does in the car, so it’s not a long time ago) I would have thought much the same.
It IS melancholy…because weddings are bittersweet when it’s your kid getting married. There’s joy and pride and hopes for their future, there’s sadness because the nest is really emptying, there’s reminiscing about your past and your journey before they were born and after, there’s disbelief that the child you distinctly remember teaching to use a spoon just last…month? only a few years, tops…is a grown up now…
I think they actually did a great job at capturing all those complex emotions with just facial expressions and a single touch.
Whether it’s going to ever make me buy a Volvo is doubtful, but I love the artform of very short storytelling that is a well crafted commercial.
I’m more puzzled by the way he’s playing with his ring - unless they just got married, those things don’t come off easy. My own father had to have his *sawn *off before some wrist surgery.
So maybe Volvo Dad has practice removing his ring. He’s a serial philanderer, Watson.
Exactly. Just one example of how it’s pandering to the vanity of mothers with marriage-aged children. This is a classic example of the sappy, pandering visual rhetoric which is common in ads selling products like Volvos. It appeals to vanity.
According to the extended version, the dude in the front seat isn’t even his son. Maybe the groom’s brother? Maybe they’re all the groom’s family giving the widowed father a ride. But then what’s with the shoulder squeeze? What’s with any of it?
She isn’t looking at the pictures - the dude in the passenger seat is. And the father of the bride better step up his game if he wants to keep his wife. Guy looks like he’s at least 65 and aging rapidly. Shave off that crumb-catcher and hit the gym, dude. Some Grecian Formula wouldn’t hurt either.
The narrative and such still makes zero sense, but then, I’m not the demographic Volvo is aiming for with this ad.
OK, after watching the extended version it sorta makes sense. But I shouldn’t have to hit YouTube to get the message from your expensive commercial.