STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has always relied on its image for quality manufacturing and efficient design. Other car marques are well known for possessing a fun streak, such as Honda, Toyota or Mazda, which is a necessary brand ingredient in attracting the younger market.
Cars are subject the same passing fads and trends as other fashionable items, so it is just as important that they remain relevant to their consumer.
When looking to promote its new S60 model, Volvo chose to highlight its own mischievous side by forgoing the usual impressive engineering claims technical data, and instead decided to position the S60 as the "naughty Volvo". As part of its Naughty Volvo campaign, Volvo set out on a mission to discover the naughtiest city in Europe.
Framed as a behavioral scientific experiment, Volvo unveiled the S60 at five parties, in five cities over five different nights. Inside each party, CCTV cameras monitored behaviour and various live experiments were set up.
From warehouse to nightclub
Trendy "warehouse" style spaces were transformed by Volvo into large nightclub spaces. Video walls and light installations were erected, and a Volvo S60 was put on display which revellers could sit in (and be recorded!). As DJs and pop stars provided the entertainment into the night, and the drink continued to flow, the experiment took shape. Party goers were recorded as they attempted to bluff their way into a fake VIP room or as they made romantic advances towards an actress posing as a lone single woman.
The results from these, as well as several other experiments were monitored and evaluated by a cultural anthropologist. Across the five cities: Milan, Paris, London, Madrid and Berlin, the results of the experiments and the antics of the guests were tallied up to reveal that the naughtiest city in Europe is . . . Paris!
Naughty city was just a part of the larger Naughty Volvo campaign. Back in March 2010, Volvo's 95 000+ Facebook fans were asked to suggest tests situations for the S60 - and the best suggestions were filmed on special tracks in Sweden and the Mojave Desert. These film clips were uploaded onto a dedicated site, where users could choose a "naughty level" and watch the car take part in various examples of high speed precision driving.