In response to the phenomenal growth of film and video communication on the internet, Volvo Car Corporation has now launched its own YouTube channel.
(March 2006). Volvo is introducing a reworked identity as part of widespread changes to the way it markets itself.
The Swedish motor vehicle manufacturer has appointed branding agency Bite to develop its logo as part of a plan to elevate the marque's iron symbol to give it the same level of prominence as the Volvo mark.
The changes, which are the brand's most significant in 75 years, are intended to eradicate inconsistencies in the application of the Volvo identity across its models and communications.
The company also wants to make greater use of the iron symbol, which it claims is recognised as a good illustration of the strength and endurance of its vehicles.
The changes to the logo are subtle, with the iron mark now more curved and thicker bevelled edges. The shape of the arrow has also been changed slightly. The blue of the "Volvo" script is retained, but the silver used for the iron mark is now a softer matt shade in an attempt to give it a more luxurious feel.
The new look will be introduced across all the brand's promotional activity -- previously it had used only the word "Volvo".
The reworked logo will first appear on the C30 model, which is due to be launched at the Paris Motor Show in September, and international promotional material for the model. Volvo hopes the C30 will rid it of its traditional association as a safe choice of family car and make it appeal to a younger and broader audience.
The changes follow Volvo's decision to relaunch its customer magazine, which is produced by Redwood Publishing.
"The general media power shift we are seeing today is making it more and more essential to get our message across to all of the people with an interest in our cars - you could call them publicists - who pass it on to others in turn, via their blogs and online communities," says Peter Ganjbar, Manager, Public Affairs working with new online channels, at Volvo Car Corporation. "We are also seeing the world's major media groups forging links with new forums on the internet to maintain the flow of traffic to their sites. This is a very interesting development for customers, dealers and everyone else with an interest in Volvo Cars," he continues.
There has been a sea-change in the way that people ‘consume' televisual media since the breakthrough of YouTube only two or so years ago. Using YouTube as a strategic communication partner was the obvious next move in adapting to true globalisation - a world in which speed and simplicity can easily get a step ahead of quality. Here you find amateurs, professional TV productions and commercials all in cheerful coexistence. The phenomenon has made many companies and organisations think very hard about the way they should approach a seemingly chaotic media landscape.
"Viewers are never fooled. It is important to say who you are. YouTube is, in effect, a ‘self-policing' medium. So we will be making it perfectly clear that everything published on "Volvo Cars News" is official and authentic material, produced by Volvo Car Corporation," says Peter Ganjbar.
The "Volvo Cars News" channel will carry everything from commercials and PR productions to television documentary material. The aim is to offer visitors worthwhile, enjoyable films about the latest products, and also to take them behind the scenes at Volvo Cars.
"And we will definitely be carrying breaking news here too," says Peter Ganjbar.