271. Brand Consistency.
Oct 1, 2009 at 11:32AM

I'll hand one thing to the folks at Volvo. They picked safety as their core value and have stuck to it through thick and thin. And that consistency really does matter and helps support their loyal consumer base. You think Volvo and you think Safety. Few brands are as clear and dedicated to their brand. Case in point the brouhaha (brewhaha, bruhaha, or brühaahaa?) over distracted driving. Distracted being a kind word for texting or calling or buying stocks or downloading a new iPhone app while you're supposed to be watching where you are commandeering your 3000 pound vehicle at 70 miles per hour—you know who you are. Well Volvo took a stance in support of legislation by placing full-page ads in the USA Today and Washington post. The timing took advantage of the US Department of Transportation's Distracted Driving Summit being held this week in Washington, DC. I had trouble finding a whole print ad, so I simply asked their PR team to send it to me. (Very responsive folks, I might add.) I thought others might be interested in seeing the whole thing too. Though not the most dynamic Volvo ad ever, it did its job and was very well timed of course. Read the official press release available on their corporate site for more complete information.

Outside of political action and lobbying, it's rare to see a corporation take a stand on a political issue, let alone call for legislation - so this ad is worth discussing. It's a very public and political decision to state their case in this way. And while I am certainly against businesses paying for their influence over 'my' government, this does seem to be a genuine effort on behalf of drivers everywhere. Not only do I think it's a good example of brand consistency, it's also a good PR move providing a rallying point for others who see this as a problem. It's also bit courageous from a marketing perspective to publicly dip their toes into politics and I like it. Especially compared to how most companies do it in private.

I do wonder—since Volvo also manufactures trucks and semis—how they come down on commercial drivers using their computer systems while driving. Interesting. Read more about that here.

Volvo's Distracted Driving Ad: (Click for larger view.)

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