Volvo promotes 2010 XC60 with YouTube takeover

Coinciding with the New York Auto Show last week, Volvo, Euro RSCG New York and Media Contacts launched an interactive homepage takeover of

The initiative also marked the debut of an expandable banner ad, which promoted Volvo’s 2010 XC60 by highlighting its “City Safety” feature, which stops the vehicle at low speeds to avoid collisions.

The banner incorporated a Twitter feed from @VolvoXC60, in which Volvo spokes­people Tweeted live from a test drive outside the show. Twitter was a great way to reach the 25-45 year old target demographic made up of tech-savvy influencers, said John Stew­ard, creative director for Euro RSCG New York, which had digital responsibilities for the campaign.

“We want consumers to join in the con­versation,” he said. “As much as consumers want to talk to the brand, they also want to talk to each other.”

Google-owned YouTube was right for this campaign because of its reach, said Linda Gangeri, manager of national advertising for Volvo Cars of North America. In Novem­ber, the site surpassed Yahoo in number of searches, according to ComScore.

“We want to have a casual conversation with consumers and speak with them as opposed to speaking at them with market­ing jargon,” Gangeri said.

This was also the first time YouTube ran an ad that expanded in this fashion — from 960 by 250 pixels to 960 by 500 pixels.

“By experimenting boldly with the first-ever expandable homepage ad on YouTube, Volvo and its agencies… enabled YouTube users to engage and interact with the Volvo XC60 in a completely original way,” said Bonita Stewart, industry director for Google Auto.

In addition to the Twitter feed, the one-day-only banner, developed just for YouTube using DoubleClick’s rich media, included videos and photos of the car, an interactive game and links to Volvo’s XC60 YouTube channel.

This initiative is just the beginning for Volvo in terms of social media, Gangeri said. Volvo also is reaching out to consum­ers using Facebook, Flickr, paid search and a blog at

“We’re just getting started,” she said, “but we know it’s right.”

The campaign, which runs through June, also includes print, TV and cinema buys. It boosted YouTube Volvo channel views by more than 50,000, according to Volvo.

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