MSN has announced the 7.0 version of its IM application Messenger and a new service called MSN Spaces through which millions of consumers can share their stories with their friends and family or the entire world. The advertising opportunities offered by the application appear to be particularly attractive. MSN has announced Volvo Cars North America will be the first to run a campaign on MSN Spaces, trying to take advantage of a deeper brand integration through a rather unobtrusive channel. Also Adidas and Sprite have chosen MSN Messenger to make users experience their branded content. Sprite has created “The Scenario” a branded online entertainment experience designed for teens, while Adidas offers branded theme packs to promote its newly launched Adidas_1 Show.
Volvo has started last week a campaign featuring the message “Life on Board”. The online effort integrates the tv spots currently running on the main European tv channels. On the site www.volvocars.it/_campaigns/LifeOnBoard (for the Italian version) users can see the end of the stories told through Tv ads. The online creativity (the site plus a wide range of rich media ads) is by Fuel Amsterdam, while Mindshare takes care of the planning, having ads shown on Msn and other main European portals.
Volvo is no doubt a Company that believes and, most of all, invests in new media marketing. We have seen excellent Volvo’s campaigns on the Web, and now we find the car manufacturer testing mobile marketing’s potentials. In December they have presented a mobile-based competition giving away an V50 to a lucky winner in Switzerland. Mobile users who wanted to participate just had to text V50 plus their postal code to a dedicated number. They then received a special number and the indication of the closest Volvo dealer. By visiting the dealer and presenting the code, they received some immediate prizes and they have been automatically allowed to enter the Christmas draw where the V50 was assigned. In Spain they are currently running a wireless marketing campaign to provide its clients with information on its S80 Premium Drive. By texting “Volvo” plus the preferred combustible type and their postal code to the number 5676, users will receive directly on their mobile a bunch of information on the closer Volvo dealer and a list of the available models at such location. As Diario IPmark reports (in Spanish) the campaign is currently running only in Madrid and Barcelona. If it proves successful, the initiative (supported by MyAlert Marketing Interactivo) will be extended to the rest of the country.
Harris Interactive has been assigned with a David Ogilvy Award for its innovative use of research in advertising. Harris Interactive has helped Volvo with its campaign “Starting a Family” specifically targeted to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers. Further details about the research are explained in the press release, where Judith Ricker, Senior Vice President for Marketing Communications Research at Harris Interactive explains:“Empirical data on the demographic characteristics and consumer behavior of the GLBT population historically has been scarce and subject to a great deal of qualification. Our application of Internet-based research methods, using our online panel of more than 23,000 GLBT adults nationwide, has significantly enhanced the quality and reliability of data available about GLBT consumers-a segment estimated to be 15 million in size with a buying power of $485 billion.”
Next week Volvo will launch a new comprehensive advertising campaign to promote its S40 car targeting a youther consumer segment than usual. Volvo will change its communication approach to better address the target, taking inspiration for its ads from entertainment genres like music videos and video games. As explained in the press release, the marketing campaign is multi-faceted, covering television, movie theaters, magazines, billboards, the Internet, direct mail, partnerships with Virgin Megastores and Bloomingdale’s, and even video games. Thomas Andersson, VCNA Executive Vice President, Marketing at Volvo North America said:“It’s not enough to just reach people with a campaign. We want to go beyond that and touch and move people as well. The campaign is surprising, refreshing and cool, yet reassuringly Volvo at the same time. The tone we are using is youthful and confident, but not arrogant. With this campaign we will show that Volvo can be sexy and fun.”
Epica Winners 2003 have been announced recently. The press release presents screenshot, videos and links to the winning campaigns. In the interactive section, Framfab Copenhagen won for Nike Football/Panna, while Forsman & Bodenfors Stockholm for Volvo XC 90 launch campaign.