Best Drive in the Game
In 1996, Volvo Trucks North America confirmed its worst appearance in the companys 17-year history. Volvo market share had dropped from 11.1 percent in 1995 to 9.1 percent in 1996, and by the end of the year Volvo trucks were ranked sixth among eight. In order to prove the Volvo truck was the best choice for professional truckers, Volvo made the perfect decision to reach its targeted audience. Research of the day-to-day lives of truckers proved a common interest-Super Bowl XXXII. Volvo became the first truck manufacture to advertise during the Super Bowl. Volvo hired Carmicheal Lynch Public Relations and Carmicheal Lynch Advertising to handle the account.
Research revealed the Super Bowl is the most-watched sports event among trucking professionals. More than 60 percent of trucking professionals stop to watch the game. Smart Business was identified as the most sought-after factor to re-build the Volvo name. The CLS research team reviewed articles about the trucking industry, the trucking profession, test drove trucks and collected information about Super Bowl advertising and promotions. Research concluded the targeted audience consisted of three million Class 8 over-the-road truck drivers in North America, 229 Volvo Trucks dealerships, 3,000 Volvo Truck employees and the general public. The research appears to be complete in the sense the product and the client were thoroughly researched and the audience was defined.
1.Increase awareness of Volvo Trucks and its VN Series, including the Volvo 770 and the companys Volvo Trucks Super Bowl spot.
2.Entrench the desired brand perception of Volvo Trucks as the smart choice for todays trucking professionals.
3.Generate trial of Volvo trucks.
4.Create multiple opportunities for Volvo truck dealers to interact with Volvo customers.
The objectives are consistently impact objectives because they represent preferred results of modifying the attitudes and behaviors of targeted audiences. The objectives are not measurable because follow-up surveys and post phone calls were not used in the evaluation portion of the campaign and because the objectives do not give a numerical impression of how much they want to do something. However, the objectives could be measurable because the information gathered in the research portion of the campaign could serve as a benchmark if follow-up methods were used.
The strategy of the Volvo campaign included 5 aspects:
1.Create a sweepstakes program that generates sales leads and ensures that truck drivers will watch Volvo Trucks Super Bowl TV spot
2.Generate awareness of Volvo Trucks involvement in the Super Bowl through media relations and paid advertising
3.Drive product trial through a national test drive tour and sweepstakes program
4.Generate interest in Volvo Trucks Super Bowl spot through media relations
5.Create opportunities for Volvo truck dealers to interact with truck drivers through game-day activities
The simple theme The Best Drive in the Game was chosen to reinforce the proposed strategies. The slogan Drive Smart was created to reinforce the theme.
A sweepstakes was created that would ensure increased sales and guarantee truck drivers to watch Volvo Trucks Super Bowl spot.To win the grand prize, Volvo 770 contestants matched a phrase on their game card to the winning Drive Smart phrase announced during the commercial.
To generate awareness of Volvo Trucks involvement with the Super Bowl through media relations, CLS developed and placed amusing print ads promoting the Best Drive sweepstakes in key trucking magazines. 60-second radio spots with all-night trucker programs were also placed. Media kits containing information about the Volvo Trucks Super Bowl TV spot were dispersed to reporters nationwide.
The CLS also created a national test-drive tour and sweepstakes program. Professional truckers were given the opportunity to test-drive the Volvo 770 during a 30-truckstop tour.Truck drivers were also invited to have their oil changed at their nearest Volvo dealership. Opportunities were created for Volvo truck dealers to interact with truck drivers through game-day activities. Volvo hosted 40 parties at selected truck stops on Super Bowl Sunday.
Controlled media included: web banners and sweepstake cards. Several communication principles such as source creditability, effective verbal and nonverbal cues, opinion leaders and audience participation were used in the campaign. Opportunities were created to target opinion leaders; the theme was communicated both verbally through advertisements and nonverbally through web banners and web sites. Audience participation was achieved through a sweepstakes and test-drives.
The campaign objectives were clearly