135,000 Want Volvo to Take Them to Space Winner of Volvo Sweepstakes for Space Flight to Be Announced March 24 at New

York Auto Show; Contest Part of Volvo's Most Successful Integrated Marketing

Campaign



    IRVINE, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- During this year's Super Bowl,
 Volvo Cars of North America introduced its new V8-powered Volvo XC90 SUV with
 an out of this world sweepstakes to win a flight to space.  Since then,
 135,000 aspiring astronauts have registered for the opportunity in what has
 also become Volvo's most successful integrated product launch in company
 history.
     On Feb. 6, during its first-ever Super Bowl advertisement, Volvo unveiled
 the Volvo XC90 V8 by comparing its power to a rocket blasting into space.
 Near the commercial's end, the ship's pilot revealed himself as billionaire
 entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of The Virgin Group of
 Companies.
     Sir Richard's Virgin Galactic -- one of the world's first commercial space
 tourism operators -- plans to debut commercial space flight within the next
 two to three years.  The end of the ad revealed Volvo was giving away a chance
 to win a seat on Virgin's forthcoming commercial passenger-carrying space
 flights by asking people to register at www.boldlygo.com through Feb. 22.
     Volvo supported the Boldlygo.com campaign with print, online and broadcast
 ads and public relations initiatives that continued through the registration
 deadline.  During this time, the site generated 18 million hits and
 1.9 million unique visitors.  Of the 135,000 who signed up for the trip to
 outer space, 60,000 requested more information on Volvo products.  Also, Volvo
 estimates the advertising equivalency for press coverage the sweepstakes
 received was more than double its original investment in the Super Bowl ad.
     "Our Volvo XC90 already is the best selling European luxury SUV in the
 United States," said Vic Doolan, president and chief executive officer for
 Volvo Cars of North America.  "To launch the V8-version of the XC90, our most
 powerful Volvo, we chose a grand stage and a unique event.  And, through
 today, we have received more than 1,000 pre-orders for the V8.  A Super Bowl
 ad campaign is a costly undertaking, but with the right creative approach and
 integrated message the money is well spent -- as these results prove."
     Volvo is producing the Boldlygo.com campaign with its advertising agency
 of record, Euro RSCG Worldwide.
 
     Sweepstakes Winner Unveiled March 24
     Volvo will unveil the sweepstakes winner Thursday, March 24 in a news
 conference at the New York International Auto Show.
     Sir Richard's Virgin Galactic (www.virgingalactic.com) officially begins
 operations this year and, subject to the necessary safety and regulatory
 approvals, plans to begin operating flights in 2007.  Over five years Virgin
 expects to train around 3,000 astronauts -- including the sweepstakes winner
 -- and will reinvest revenues generated from the flights into a new generation
 of vehicles for further space ventures.
     The technology for Virgin Galactic's spacecraft will be modeled after the
 world's first privately funded, reusable space vehicle SpaceShipOne, which in
 2004 won the Ansari X Prize by becoming the first privately funded, manned
 suborbital space flight.  Taking off from a traditional runway, the spacecraft
 is powered into sub-orbit by a hybrid engine.  During the flight, passengers
 experience weightlessness, view the stars above and see planet Earth below.
     On its return to Earth, the spacecraft morphs into a V-shaped
 "shuttlecock," enabling it to gently drift back through the atmosphere without
 overheating.  It then morphs back into a conventional aircraft shape ready for
 landing.
 
     About Volvo Cars
     Volvo has been building cars for people with Safety in mind for over
 75 years.  The 2005 Volvo Cars model line-up includes: the award-winning new
 Volvo S40 and its wagon counterpart the all-new Volvo V50; the award-winning
 Volvo XC90; the sporty Volvo S60 sedan -- including the award-winning
 performance sedan -- S60 R and the performance wagon version -- V70 R; the
 flagship Volvo S80 luxury sedan; versatile Volvo V70 wagon and rugged Volvo
 XC70 (Cross Country); and, the Volvo C70 convertible.
 
 

SOURCE Volvo Cars of North America

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