Volvo ad shows people overcoming adversity

Volvo is continuing its unconventional approach to car advertising with a documentary-style commercial featuring conversations between two people who have overcome adversity.

In the film, which breaks in the UK this week, Volvo's cross-country estate model, the XC70, becomes the setting for a "journey through life" by the protagonists.

One is Bethany Hamilton, the 14-year-old surfing champion who has returned to her sport despite having her arm ripped off by a shark. The other is the US jockey Greta Kuntzweiler, who still competes after sustaining injuries, including a broken back.

Lance Bangs, the documentary film-maker and music video director, produced the unscripted spot in which the pair discuss their experiences. They are joined by Chris Gardner, once homeless but now a Wall Street stockbroker, and the psychologist Dr Richard Wiseman.

The concept was devised by Volvo's agency, the Amsterdam-based MVBMS Fuel Europe. It follows the agency's spoof Swedish village documentary, which appeared earlier this year.

MindShare is handling media planning and buying for the campaign, called "life on board", which will run in conjunction with new spots for the Volvo XC70 and V70. It will be supported by print ads in the broadsheet national press, and DVD inserts.

Tim Ellis, Volvo's global ad director, said: "We've broken away from traditional car advertising." Simon Pride, a Fuel director, commented: "We have created a voice for Volvo and it appears to be working."

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