Volvo gets emotional for 'trackvert' tie-up with Swedish artist Avicii

Social video expert Unruly reviews the latest viral by Volvo.

In many ways, the viral ‘trackvert’ is the ultimate advertising innovation. A clever hybrid of music video and conventional commercial, the format allows all sorts of brands to subtly link themselves to massive music stars and benefit from their enthusiastic online following.

With tracks like ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Hey Brother’, Avicii has pulled off the rare feat of crafting the song of the summer several summers in a row. 8/10

While your average online advert may hope to gain traction through hype or shock value, musicians come with a built-in, receptive audience and videos from popular artists regularly receive upwards of a 100m views. As a result, these partnerships are worth their weight in gold.

Made by Sweden

Volvo is the latest brand to seek out a musical soul mate. With the phrase ‘Made by Sweden’ dominating its recent campaigns, it’s only appropriate the car marque should team up with Stockholm’s biggest musical export in years, Avicii. If you’re not familiar with the work of the EDM producer and DJ (real name: Tim Bergling), just cast your mind back to any time you’ve been in a bar, club or sociable occasion recently and there’s a reasonably good chance he was playing.

With tracks like ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Hey Brother’, Avicii has pulled off the rare feat of crafting the song of the summer several summers in a row. It’s clear then why Volvo was so keen to lend a hand on his latest, an epic music video for his cover of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’.

No cookie-cutter ‘trackvert’

Prior to this, brands of all ilks have found viral success by cozying up to the music industry. Last summer, we wrote about the phenomenal story of Activia’s World Cup ‘trackvert’ for Shakira’s ‘La La La’. Meanwhile, Cornetto Turkey’s continued relationship with singer Yalin has produced hundreds of thousands of shares, while Adidas successfully pushed a video campaign by embedding an unheard Kanye West track into it.

So while there’s precedent for these sort of adverts, that doesn’t mean ‘Feeling Good’ is a cookie-cutter ‘trackvert’. On the contrary, the ad begins with a minute-long contemplation of Tim’s sudden skyrocketing to fame, and what effect that has had on him emotionally.

There are several shots of the 25-year-old looking moodily across cityscapes, while cameras swoop across foggy vistas, and an interviewer asks, "But, do you ever get the chance to be just Tim?" In a weird way, it feels like a trailer for an EDM-based James Bond spin-off or ‘Avicii: The Gritty Reboot’.

In order to live up to the terms of their partnership, Avicii’s existential angst also involves quite a bit of driving around in a Volvo. But as soon as his remix of ‘Feeling Good’ kicks in, that anxiety begins to melt away as we intercut between Tim goofing around with his pals and playing a gig to what looks like about a million people. He is, as the song subtly suggests, feeling good.

Of course, the sharing potential of any ‘trackvert’ lives or dies on the popularity of the song itself, and that can’t be faked. With 35,000 shares since its release earlier this week, ‘Feeling Good’ certainly isn’t Avicii’s biggest single, but time will tell to see if it takes off.



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