25 September 2000

Volvo Cars of North America is putting all its eggs into one cyber-basket with the upcoming launch of its latest S60 luxury sports sedan. No TV, no outdoor, no radio – just America Online and two auto-enthusiast titles.

Volvo, owned these day by the Ford Motor Company, is banking on AOL’s 24 million-plus subscribers to spread the word about the S60, which is expected to account for one-quarter of the marque’s 155,000 projected North American auto sales next year.

No-one will say how much cash is on the table, although there will a be a mix of banner and column advertisements on various pages across AOL's mass of services and ‘rooms’, including its auto area, a men's-interest room and its map site,

The exclusive deal is an online first for such a major venture and for AOL. Vice president of interactive marketing at AOL Mark Hosbein hails it as proof of "the value of the audience as well as the reach we can bring".

Volvo dealers were briefed on the campaign back in July and, according to suburban Detroit dealer Frank Dwyer: “Nobody went into shock. Everybody was very excited about the car. They weren't too nervous about the advertising."

According to Marissa Gluck, advertising analyst at Jupiter Research, New York, the ground-breaking campaign is “a great validation of the medium”.

News source: Wall Street Journal