IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- SOMEWHERE IN SUB-ORBIT -- Volvo
Cars of North America on Sunday will make history during its first-ever Super
Bowl advertisement by announcing it will give away a chance to win a seat on
the world's first commercial passenger-carrying spaceship.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050203/CGTH052 )
In the 30-second ad, Volvo unveils its new Volvo XC90 V8 SUV by comparing
its power to a rocket blasting into space. Near the commercial's end, the
ship's pilot reveals himself as billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson,
founder and chairman of The Virgin Group of Companies.
Sir Richard's Virgin Galactic -- the world's first commercial space
tourism operator -- is planning the debut commercial flight some time in the
next two to three years.
After the commercial airs Sunday, Volvo is giving away a chance to win a
seat on Sir Richard's flight by asking aspiring astronauts to log onto
http://www.boldlygo.com through Feb. 22. Volvo, along with Virgin Galactic,
will unveil the winner March 24 at the New York International Auto Show. The
value of a seat on the sub-orbital flight -- which also includes three days of
pre-flight training -- is $200,000.
Starting Sunday, Volvo's Super Bowl advertisement can be seen at
http://www.boldlygo.com . Volvo is producing the Super Bowl campaign with its
advertising agency of record, Euro RSCG Worldwide.
"With our first-ever Super Bowl ad, we wanted to create an innovative
campaign hook to maximize interest beyond the 30 second commercial," said Vic
Doolan, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. "There are few other
opportunities that are as innovative and intriguing as going into space. Volvo
is likewise known for its innovation, primarily in the area of safety. Adding
the unexpected element of space travel to a Volvo brand campaign is something
we believe people will never forget."
"The best way to illustrate Virgin Galactic's mission for the safe,
affordable exploration of space is to give one person a chance to win, rather
than pay for, a seat on our spacecraft," said Sir Richard, who is donating the
proceeds from his appearance in the ad to charity. "Partnering with Volvo --
which embodies safety and innovation -- is a natural fit. And Volvo's bringing
this to the Super Bowl is marvelous."
"We sought to pre-empt the auto category with an entertaining and
compelling commercial that makes the new Volvo XC90 a part of popular
culture," said Christopher Ross, global account director on Volvo at Euro RSCG
Worldwide, New York. "It's a high impact way to remind people that Volvo is a
contemporary, innovative and vibrant brand they should consider."
Sir Richard's Virgin Galactic ( http://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 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 start 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