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Volvo Uses Nostalgia to Market to Millennials

Twenty years ago, the Volvo station wagon was the minivan for moms who didn’t want to drive a minivan. It was a car that a lot of kids my age grew up riding in, fighting each other to sit in the third row that had seats facing the rear window of the car. As a kid, I thought Volvo was a cool car for parents to have – who wouldn’t want to stare out the back window and make faces at the car behind you at a red light?

Unlike the flashy ad for Volvo trucks released earlier this year and featured Jean Claude Van Damme doing a split between two moving trucks, a new Volvo cars ad uses nostalgia to market their products to a new generation of drivers: fellow Millennials, like myself, who grew up having (or knowing at least one person who had) a Volvo station wagon.  The new ad takes the viewer back to a simpler time in his or her life when the worst part of the day was the possible nausea induced by a backward-facing ride.

The spot organically highlights the Volvo’s features and benefits (like ample trunk space) that have been updated for the modern world. Its purpose is to remind Millennials that we now have the power to purchase our own Volvos and create new memories in them. However, as a member of the ad’s target audience, the ad inspires me to buy an old Volvo station wagon and hire a chauffeur to drive me around while I sit in the third row and make faces at the cars behind me. Either way, it has me thinking Volvo.

~ Riley Kertesz, Summer Associate, The S3 Agency


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