Waggener Edstrom named first US AOR for Volvo

Volvo Cars of North America has selected Waggener Edstrom as its first AOR in the US.

NEW YORK: Volvo Cars of North America has selected Waggener Edstrom as its AOR for the US, with the goals of elevating cultural relevancy for the brand and telling its technology story.

The agency, which was brought on following a competitive review involving four other firms, is Volvo's first AOR, handling lifestyle, brand, corporate, and product communications.

Before WE, Volvo worked with Haberman on brand PR for more than 10 years and PCGCampbell on the product and automotive business for nearly seven years, said Dean Shaw, VP of corporate communications at the automaker.

He added that the company wanted to combine those duties before the redesign of its flagship XC90 SUV, as well as other innovation news.

WE stood out among the agencies because of its understanding of the brand, creative ideas, and chemistry with the Volvo team, explained Shaw.

Representatives from PCGCampbell could not be immediately reached for comment.

“While we decided not to participate in this RFP, we'll always be big advocates for the brand. In fact, many of us will be driving home tonight – in our Volvos,” said Fred Haberman, CEO of the eponymous firm. “Haberman is incredibly proud of the brand and cause work we accomplished for Volvo over the past decade and a half.”

In the past, Shaw said Volvo reached out mainly to automotive media, but going forward, the brand wants to tell a broader story and engage consumers in other areas.

WE, which began working with Volvo at the start of the year, is focused on “inserting cultural lifestyle relevancy for Volvo in the US,” said agency SVP Julie Levinthal, who is managing work on the account.

Levinthal added that the automaker already has high brand awareness, but its challenge is “building key lifestyle verticals and intrinsic characteristics of the brand” to create connections with consumers. The firm's New York office is leading the account work.

Volvo's target demographic is progressive luxury consumers, as well as Millennials and younger audiences.

WE will also promote Volvo's innovation and technology stories, such as its work on autonomous cars other technologies. It will also handle thought-leadership efforts for the brand, as well as social media strategies in collaboration with its in-house team.

Earlier this week, WE supported the brand at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where it unveiled its Volvo Concept XC Coupé.

The initial contract is for one year, but Shaw said the company is “looking for a long-term partnership.”

Budget information on the account was not disclosed. 

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