Volvo queer ad wins Ogilvy award

April 29, 2004
Volvo's "Starting a Family" ad specifically targeting gays and lesbians
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NEW YORK — Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA) received the esteemed David Ogilvy Award for its innovative use of research in advertising by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) at the ARF David Ogilvy Awards Dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on April 27.

Presented to advertisers and their partner agencies, the ARF's David Ogilvy Awards strive to showcase successful, innovative research-driven ad campaigns. Volvo's "Starting a Family" ad that specifically targeted gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) consumers through a series of gay-specific images and copy was selected by the ARF for its exemplary research use in shaping and assessing its GLBT marketing communications strategy.

"We wanted to better understand how to leverage the buying power of this very brand loyal market. We did so by further analyzing this market, via one of the most comprehensive studies of GLBT consumers," stated Vic Doolan, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. "As a result, we crafted a compelling story effectively communicating the core values of the Volvo brand while speaking credibly and intelligently to this unique consumer segment. The 'Starting a Family' campaign speaks directly to GLBT consumers about Volvo's diverse family of vehicles, with a goal to increase consideration and appreciation."

Volvo partnered with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender market, and Harris Interactive(r), a global market research and consulting firm, to develop and implement their comprehensive strategies to reach this largely untapped consumer market.

"Volvo is a model for other corporate marketers who are looking to reach the gay and lesbian consumer," said Wesley Combs, President of Witeck-Combs Communications. "This was a true collaboration. With our strategic research partner Harris Interactive, and advertising partner, Prime Access, Inc., we developed a comprehensive GLBT-specific campaign based on a solid foundation of research. The application of Internet-based survey research methods has had a significant impact on the extent and reliability of data available about GLBT consumers, a segment estimated to be 15 million strong with a buying power of $485 billion."

Volvo's "Starting a Family" print ads began running in national GLBT publications in May 2003 and continue to run today. The print campaign was accompanied by an integrated online initiative called "Volvo Family Portraits" on in the fall of 2003. The campaign included a sponsorship and affinity program with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest and most respected GLBT rights organization. –Witeck-Combs Communications

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