Highway robbery [video] by Grey New York for Volvo

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Highway robbery [video]

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Industry Cars
Media Ambient, Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Grey New York
Executive Creative Director Susan Hoffman, Matt O'rourke
Copywriter Jason Goldshteyn
Production 1st Ave Machine
Production Townhouse New York
Released March 2016


One Show 2017
Direct Marketing Ambient / Immersive: Installations Merit

Credits & Description

The all-new XC90 T8 is the first hybrid luxury SUV to be powered by gas, electric energy and other cars.
Brand: Volvo
Media: Ambient
Category: Automotive
Agency: Grey
Geo: United States
Volvo XC90: Highway robbery
Advertising Agency: Grey, New York, USA
Chief Creative Officer: Andreas Dahlqvist
Executive Creative Director: Matt O’Rourke
Group Creative Directors: João Coutinho, Marco Pupo
Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Rodrigo Burdman 
Creative Director / Copywriter: Natalie Rose
Copywriter: Jason Goldshteyn
Agency Producer: Stephen Samelko
Agency Music Producer: Ben Dorenfeld
Production Company: 1stAveMachine
Production Company: Townhouse, 1stavemachine
Directors: Bob Partington, Jordan Fein, Hunter Baker
DP: Hunter Baker
Post Production: 1stAveMachine
Editor: Colin Laughlin
Sound Mix: Gramercy Post
Campaign Description:
To launch the new Volvo hybrid, the XC90 T8, we didn’t create an ad. We invented a technology to re-think the way cars are powered. And then we surrounded the idea with content, including a film and pushed it out to our target. A peristaltic system was invented to capture energy from cars using only hydraulic power. The main component of it is a mat that contains tubes that are full of water. When a car drives over the mat, it compresses the tubes and its forward momentum pressures the water through, generating hydraulic power. The hydraulic power is then turned into electricity.After over 4 months developing the technology, we hijacked a highway in California and used the system to steal energy from other cars to power the new Volvo hybrid SUV. A special billboard thanked all the other car brands whose energy was stolen.
It took 4 months to find the activation location and to fully develop the technology. We evaluated and tested a variety of existing technologies that would allow us to capture power from the road; but none of them fully suited our purposes. Most of them relied on kinetic energy and required the cars to slow considerably in order to capture any charge at all. Eventually we decided to create a hydraulic system that would allow cars to drive in a normal manner while still being incredibly efficient at generating electric power.The activation took place in Southern California. In summary, Volvo "hijacked" the power from passing cars over the course of two days proving power truly can come from unexpected places.The content captured during the two-day event was turned into a video that launched on YouTube and Facebook.
Volvo was launching its first ever plug-in hybrid in the US, the XC90 T8 that happens to also be the most powerful Volvo ever. This type of power from a plug-in hybrid is unusual in the automotive industry, but Volvo doesn’t follow convention and developed technology that delivers 400hp in a luxury SUV that has an eye toward doing right by the planet: performance with a conscience. Volvo found a way to capture and deliver power in an unexpected way, so we set out to create an experience that brought this idea to life that we knew would appeal to the tech obsessed audience we targeted. The project started with an on-the-ground activation that reached thousands of drivers on the California highway. We captured that experience and turned it into a video so that our target all over the world would have the chance to see what Volvo had done.
The Volvo XC90 T8 uses an entirely new approach to capturing and using power that best suits the driver’s wants and needs; it’s an entirely fresh approach on how to use power. We targeted early adopters that also included tech media and car blogs. The car is a treasure trove of innovative thinking and we knew the activation had to deliver the same level of cleverness in order for them to care. Volvo is a small, challenger brand. Every dollar we spend must count for three; we call this the Volvo way. We used a three-pronged approach to amplifying “Highway Robbery” in the most relevant markets via YouTube, relevant sites, and Facebook. We used a Visible Measures media buy to drive incremental views on YouTube and scale content across relevant sites. We also created a :15 second teaser and leveraged Facebook's sequential targeting to tease and qualify our audience.
Highway Robbery stole the show. The campaign generated more than 71MM total media impressions, centered around our 2 pieces of video content. Totaling 5.3 million views in 2 weeks (2.6 million for the :15 teaser and 2.7 million for the 2:00 long-form). PR coverage of the activation came from 40 different countries and totaled more than 200 articles in a array of tech publications, auto blogs and news outlets – our exact desired target. The combined earned media impressions for these articles was more than 55.4 million in North America, an estimated earned ad value of $1.5 million. Perhaps The Drive put it best, recognizing this effort for what it means for the Volvo brand. Highway Robbery is more than just a way to “start conversations about harnessing energy; these are part of the big statements the brand is making about where it stands in the constellation of automakers.”