ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Volvo turns to social, not TV, in Super Bowl promotion

Swedish automaker Volvo is foregoing an expensive television spot during the Super Bowl this year, and will instead focus on social engagement by asking fans to tweet the brand when they see any car commercial.

On game day, Volvo will also target promoted Tweets at competitors' handles and trending hashtags. The effort encourages consumers to nominate someone for a chance to win a new Volvo XC60.

?Volvo is encouraging fans to tweet the name of someone who matters to them most with the hashtag #VolvoContest when they see any car commercial during the Big Game,? said Jim Nichols, product and technology communications manager at Volvo Cars North America, New York. ?Participants will then receive an automatic Twitter reminder during the game to submit their story as to why their chosen person matters. 

?Volvo is directing consumers to to receive more information on the contest,? he said. ?On game day, paid Twitter promotions will target competitor handles and trending hashtags in order to capitalize on the advertising momentum.?

Driving engagement
The ?Volvo Interception? will begin at 6:30 pm on Feb. 1. Whenever any car commercial airs throughout the big game, people can tweet using the hashtag #VolvoContest to tell Volvo who they think deserves a brand new Volvo XC60. 

All eligible tweets will receive a response from Volvo, and each person must then tell why his or her nominee was chosen. Following the conclusion of the entry period, judges will select five potential winners from all entries received.

Fans can go to to watch a video about the effort and learn more about contest details and rules.

The Volvo Interception is aiming to be a socially driven alternative to game day TV ads. The company believes it maintains a human centric mindset of putting people first in all areas and hopes to translate that mindset into the design and technology of all Volvo cars.

Given the possibility to win a new car, fans are likely to participate.

Volvo is not the only automaker not purchasing ad spots.

Volkswagen?s and other automakers? decisions to skip expensive Super Bowl XLIX television ads point to how mobile marketing is seen as a more effective way to micro-target and harvest data from a consumer who is likely to engage with a brand.

The Super Bowl pullout by VW, as well as luxury brands Lincoln and Jaguar, comes despite years of automaker big-game sponsorship as more ads are put online ahead of the winter football classic, and television and the Internet merge in myriad ways. The car brands? absence from one of the world?s most-watched TV events shows how mobile?s growth is reshaping the marketing landscape to a much wider range of advertisers (see story).

Volvo will have to rely on auto brands aside from the aforementioned ones that will also not be promoting via Super Bowl advertising to engage its fans on Twitter.

Driving innovation
In summer 2014, Volvo teamed up with The Weather Channel to promote its XC60 crossover and reach consumers with its first iPad-application use of branded creative that appears in the background of content on the channel's iPad app. 

The Swedish automaker and the cable and satellite TV weather forecast and news channel worked with agencies Grey Advertising (creative) and Mindshare (media) on the campaign. Taking the Branded Backgrounds TWC has used previously in its mobile app, it featured full-screen images of the XC60 displayed under translucent weather content, with the images changing to match weather conditions in the user?s location. The campaign reflects how mobile is helping automakers personalize their advertising pitches in a crowded marketplace (see story).

Later in the year, Nissan launched a digital and social marketing campaign for its rugged commercial vans, starring Poison lead singer Bret Michaels that used humor, making the statement that business-to-business ads did not have to be boring.

Before Nissan, Volvo too wondered how it could get consumers to talk about trucks, and more importantly, get drivers interested in driving them. In a series of viral YouTube films titles ?Live Test,? Volvo showcased the dexterity and craftsmanship synonymous with the brand?s heritage.

The most successful video, ?The Epic Split? featured actor Jean-Claude Van Damme performing a split between two reversing trucks to demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo?s dynamic steering (see story).

?People who drive Volvos love them,? Mr. Nichols said. ?We see this everyday in the form of loyal customers in our dealerships, on social media and in conversations with our fans. 

?They also love sharing their experience with their loved ones, and we consistently hear that they want to keep their friends and families safe and comfortable in Volvos, too,? he said. ?This initiative gives our fans a way to do just that - to spread the word and put the people they love in a luxurious Volvo XC60.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York