After Volvo Cars invented the three-point safety belt in 1959, its introduction sparked debate among media and the public. But to date it’...
After Volvo Cars invented the three-point safety belt in 1959, its introduction sparked debate among media and the public. But to date it’s been credited with saving more than a million lives worldwide. The premium carmaker now highlights this in a new brand campaign, by letting car crash survivors read what people said about the safety belt in the past. And it sounds eerily familiar even today.
“The seatbelt is a violation of human rights”. “It's better to be thrown out than to be trapped inside”. These are only a few of the comments made about the introduction of the safety belt. In a new, global brand campaign, Volvo lets us hear the true stories of people who survived car crashes thanks to the safety belt.
In the main campaign film, shot entirely in black and white, we meet real car crash survivors from all over the world and hear their emotional stories about the accidents and how they were saved thanks to the safety belt. In the end, we learn that Volvo has introduced a speed cap in all their cars during 2020, and is about to introduce in-car cameras to prevent intoxicated and distracted driving. Both of them are inventions that have sparked debate.
“Safety has always been at the core of Volvo Cars but it's not uncommon for some of our innovations to face resistance when they are first introduced. Like the safety belt in 1959, the 180 kph speed cap introduced on new cars this year faced criticism for its perceived intrusion on personal freedom but they are both there to save lives. Sometimes it takes uncomfortable and controversial decisions to do the right thing”, said Mike Johnstone, Head of Brand Management at Volvo Cars.
The campaign was made together with creative collective Forsman & Bodenfors in Sweden. It’s part of a larger communication theme, in which Volvo during a period of time highlights safety from different perspectives, using all kinds of assets and media, including PR. Recently, a campaign featuring Swedish actor Fares Fares showed Volvo's active safety technology through the eyes of a family with small children.
“Using critical voices from the past became a creative bridge to Volvo’s safety vision and future technology. And the reactions from survivors who have experienced a car crash allowed us to talk about this in an emotional yet hopeful way”, said Leo Dal, creative at Forsman & Bodenfors in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The film features a new and unique score by renowned European composer Jacob Mühlrad. Mühlrad is the youngest composer to have a piece performed at The Royal Swedish Opera and his music has premiered at the Carnegie Hall in New York and Bamberg Hall in Germany. Last year Swedish House Mafia commissioned a re-composition of their hit "One" from Mühlrad for their global arena tour. His upcoming album for Deutsche Grammophon will be released in March 2021.
“My ambition was to find a tone that suited the emotional stories shared in the film. I watched the uncut interviews and found inspiration in the slow tempo, the fragility and tone in their voices. It was an interesting challenge”, said Jacob Mühlrad.
The campaign goes live globally on Wednesday, October 14, in Volvo Cars social channels, on TV, OOH and PR.