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
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
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
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