David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Volvo
"The Flying Passenger"
2 mins 06s
29 November 2016
UK Cars

Volvo like to think outside the box when it comes to demonstrating their trucks. Last year they let a four-year-old girl control an FMX via remote control. This year, it's inland paragliding.

There are no toddlers this time around - health and safety probably. Instead, the car maker recruits thrill-seeker Guillaume Galvani. While a walk in the Croatian countryside would satisfy most, Galvani chooses a more unorthodox travel method: attaching himself to a ruddy great truck.

Communication is unsurprisingly key. Minor changes in speed and gradient make all the difference. The constant radio chatter adds drama to this vertiginous escapade, while seeing a female behind the wheel of an HGV is a welcome change of pace.

The ‘show, don’t tell’ approach works well on this occasion thanks to the stunt’s diverting execution. Now we know a) which truck offers power, control, and economy and b) the real way to enjoy Croatia’s picturesque landscape.

DNB
"Walls"

Frankie said:

That is brilliant. Great voice over.


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Volvo
"The Flying Passenger"
2 mins 06s
29 Nov 2016
Volvo like to think outside the box when it comes to demonstrating their trucks. Last year they let a four-year-old girl control an FMX via remote control. This time, it's inland paragliding. While a walk in the Croatian countryside would satisfy most, Guillaume Galvani chooses a more unorthodox travel method: attaching himself to a ruddy big truck.

Volvo
"Erik"
3 mins 30s
13 Sep 2016
Impossible is nothing for a young photographer called Erik who describes his artistic process in this documentary made jointly by Volvo and Sky Atlantic. There is less worthiness in the subject of this documentary than in the other two films and - as if to compensate for this - directing collective DARYL have injected more visual interest. It doesn't quite distract us from Erik's self-indulgence but it's a good effort.

Volvo
"Maria and Josefin"
4 mins
13 Sep 2016
In this short but wonderfully languid documentary made by Volvo and Sky Atlantic we're introduced to Maria and Josefin who built a business out of a desire to save their local environment from the danger posed by scuttled boats sitting at the bottom of the nearby lakes. Recycling parts from the salvaged vessels is a fantastically green solution to a problem that was a long time in the making.

Volvo
"Oliver"
3 mins 50s
13 Sep 2016
Volvo's fruitful relationship with Sky Atlantic continues to generate excellent work with this short documentary examining the efforts of a young engineer to improve the lives of those who have lost limbs. What's striking about this film is the optimism of both the engineer and the young amputee he's seeking to help.

Volvo
"Song of the Open Road"
2 mins 45s
29 Aug 2016
When Walt Whitman is credited as a creative on a commercial, you kind of know where it's headed. The American poet may not have anticipated that his words would one day be read sonorously over footage of a Swedish car navigating picturesque roads in a piece of branded content but who's to say he would have minded?

Volvo
"Vision 2020"
1 min 55s
16 Feb 2016
Volvo make a point of calling out their flashier competitors by taking the safety first approach on an ambitious scale. The car maker outlines their plan to reduce road accidents involving a Volvo to zero by 2020. It's an interesting blueprint for change by the brand aided by an attractively filmed commercial, even if the final result feels like it could do with a trim.

Volvo
"Winter Idents"
60s
5 Feb 2016
Not all of Volvo's UK advertising is very strong but their bumpers for Sky Atlantic - featured here - definitely have a big impact on brand perception. Sky reserve this channel for their best output and the continuous reminder that their strongest programming is supported by Volvo has an influence. The bumpers themselves hit just the right note too. They are quietly classy... just what you need when you're going to be seeing them eight times an hour.

Volvo
"Musician"
30s
10 Jan 2016
Having just had contact from a Volvo dealership (long story... suffice to say, a new car is needed at DAVID HQ), we can categorically confirm what you might suspect after watching this... their sales teams feel badly let down by the poverty of the brand's television advertising. It makes it "hard to compete with the German-made competition".

Volvo
"Look Who's Driving"
2 mins 25s
3 Dec 2015
What a marvellous idea for an online spot promoting the sheer resilience of Volvo trucks: rig one up like a giant remote controlled car, give the controls to a four year old girl, and let her steer it round a gravel pit littered with all kinds of obstacles. Not only is it highly entertaining to watch little Sophie get stuck into her task, it proves beyond reasonable doubt that the FMX is one tough mother of a truck.

Volvo
"Sky Atlantic Bumpers"
60s
21 Aug 2015
This series of bumpers drawing attention to Volvo's sponsorship of Sky Atlantic has swiftly become one of the most effective examples of this genre of advertising. Anyone who watches this channel - and, admittedly, it's not exactly a ratings success story - will have taken in the quiet elegance of Volvo's attachment and the brand has surely benefited from the association with the best programming offered by the broadcaster.

Volvo
"A New Beginning"
4 mins 02s
7 Jun 2015
Swedish DJ and record producer Avicii's fame has been such an astonishing experience that he hasn't had the chance to process his new life. So he takes off in a Volvo to reconnect with his home country in this beautiful film directed by his compatriot Gustav Johansson featuring a souped down version of Nina Simone's classic 'Feeling Good'.

Volvo
"Avicii"
60s
7 Jun 2015
This is the version of the new Volvo film running on UK TV. It gives a flavour of the longer film while standing up in its own right. We do wonder though whether the kind of people who can afford to buy the advertised car are likely to have the faintest idea who Avicii is or whether that really matters... perhaps witnessing a hip young fellow behind the wheel communicates the idea even if he's not recognised.

Volvo
"Life Paint"
2 mins 30s
30 Mar 2015
This online commercial for Volvo focuses on LifePaint: a unique, reflective spray that's invisible by day yet shines brightly in the beam of a car's headlights. It's a collaboration between Grey London and a Swedish company called Albedo100 who make the paint, and the ad is one of a series of projects to highlight the main innovations of the new Volvo XC90.

Volvo
"Swedish Air"
50s
17 Mar 2015
Quite literally, this ad is a breath of fresh air. Rather than gassing on about the tech spec of Volvo's new air filtration system, this takes a sensory approach by presenting us with shots of crisp Nordic scenery to demonstrate how clean the air feels when you're driving. It's surprisingly effective - you just want to take great big lungfuls of the stuff.

Volvo
"Sky Bumpers"
2 mins 26s
20 Nov 2014
This bumper set of bumpers (see what we did there) for Volvo's sponsorship of Sky Atlantic celebrates the art of film-making with a distinctly Swedish twist. Words associated with movies - like 'soundtrack' and 'body double' - appear onscreen alongside visual alternatives from the Nordic country... 'greenscreen' is shown with a bird's eye view of forest, for example. Playful and classy all at once.

Volvo
"The Swell"
60s
29 Sep 2014
What grabs your attention when you watch this ad is the sound design. It's what turns it from a good ad to a great ad. As clever as it is to draw analogies between the experience of driving a particular car and intensely physical activities, Marcus Söderlund's excellent direction is definitely enhanced by Aaron Reynolds's equally brilliant contribution.

Volvo
"Born in Sweden"
30s
21 Jan 2014
A rather weak proposition, this. The VO tells us that while many German car manufacturers test their cars in Sweden's challenging winter terrrain, only Volvo was actually born in Sweden. Er... so? Unless there's some sort of benefit to this, it's hardly the kind of reminder that is going to sway you, however charming the nice Nordic lady sounds.

Volvo
"The Split"
80s
13 Nov 2013
To the dulcet tones of Enya, Jean-Claude Van Damme ostensibly performs the splits between two moving Volvo lorries. The golden sheen of the trucks echoes the golden light of early morning on a deserted Spanish road as he serenely stretches his legs to full horizontal capacity in order "to demonstrate the stability and precision" of the steering.

Volvo
"The Chase"
2 mins 30s
13 Oct 2013
If you're going to base a piece of advertising around one of the most iconic events in the world, you'd better make sure you bring something fresh to the enterprise - and that's exactly what director Henry-Alex Rubin, cinematographer Stephane Fontaine, and editor Spencer Ferszt have done with this splendid twist on one of Spain's famous bull runs.

Volvo
"All New"
30s
16 Sep 2013
"Beautiful Swedish curves... for a stunning figure," says the male VO flatly. Either he's had a lobotomy or he's been made to speak the script at gunpoint. When did Volvo decide cheese was the way forward? They've chosen a nice enough track - Little Dragon's Ritual Union - but the sum total of the parts is simply weird.

Volvo
"Wild One"
60s
5 Sep 2012
This commercial for a lorry feels like it should have been reserved for some specialist channel aimed at truck drivers. There must be one in that myriad of crap available after the the first thirty channels on Sky before you get to the Sports Channels.

Volvo
"The Journey"
12 mins 30s
13 Sep 2012
Robert Downey Junior plays multiple versions of the same person in this intriguing timeslip drama directed by Stephen Frears. It is a hell of challenge to persuade viewers to keep watching a piece as long as this when the key purpose is to sell a car but a captivating story and the charismatic lead pull it off.

Volvo
"It's Who You Want To Be"
30s
20 Aug 2012
Wow, this car has an "adaptive digital display"... that's definitely who we want to be. We don't actually know what an 'adaptive digital display' is but it sounds bloody brilliant and we feel it will make us look as cool as the man in this commercial and that's also who we want to be.

Volvo
"Ballerina Stunt"
3 mins 20s
17 Aug 2012
A woman called Faith Dickey walks across a rope slung between two Volvo trucks as they make their way towards a tunnel in Croatia in this viral advertising the Swedish car manufacturer. As impressive as it is, it's puzzling to imagine why anyone would think that this will make punters more kindly disposed toward Volvo.

Volvo
"Everything We Learn"
30s
2 Jan 2012
In this ad, Volvo claim that the technological advances they make when constructing boats for ocean racing are passed on to motorists. This claim might even be true but the commercial that carries the news is so lacking in warmth or passion that it creates little impression.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.