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Volvo’s Thoughtful Brand Management Eclipsed by Latest Twilight Partnership

Even though I’ve beat up on Volvo before, on a personal level I’m a lifelong fan of their cars.  On a professional level, I have profound respect for Volvo’s clear, consistent brand management. That’s why their new advertising partnership with “Twilight: Eclipse” is so painful to watch.

I understand why brands want to ride the coattails of the “Twilight” franchise.  And although I haven’t seen the sequel, the C30 product placement in the first film seemed natural and positioned the product as a hero. But as AdRants’ Steve Hall puts it, “This is, by far, the worst car commercial brand partnership ever.”  The connection to “There’s more to life than a Volvo” tagline is tenuous at best.  The spot feels like a disparate mishmash of cliched product beauty shots and clips from the film.  It’s both contrived and confusing.

Brand partnerships can be powerful and effective when tied to some overarching strategic purpose besides getting more eyeballs by glomming onto a successful entertainment franchise.  In theory, Volvo’s association with bloodsucker epic “Twilight” could help generate excitement with younger consumers for a car brand typically associated with doctors, lawyers and accountants.  In practice, this spot just sucks.


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