A new spot for the Volvo V40 R-Design by Grey London focuses on the details, with a more soft-spoken tone than the usual false confidence we've come to expect from car ads.
The visuals focus on the car's features, like diamond-cut alloy wheels, adaptive digital display and illuminated gearshift, while the narrator, Swedish conductor Marie Rosenmir, goes on about details and how important they are to a finished product. We also get shots of her driving over a bridge and through what looks like the set from a Walter Hill film.
The tone and pace are refreshing, and the interplay between the vehicle's interior and predictable car-in-motion footage really works. But unless you know who she is, Rosenmir's narrative doesn't add much beyond exposition we don't really need and a sense of who Volvo is targeting with this model.
In fact, she's a bit like the voiceover from Blade Runner, which explains why we were reminded of Walter Hill.
"It's the combination of many different factors—some of which you are conscious of, but many of which you aren't—which make driving a car unique or pleasurable," says Andy Lockley, creative director at Grey London.
"The V40 boasts lots of lovely, intricate design details, which in isolation may not seem particularly significant but when combined create an incredibly satisfying overall experience. We likened this to a really moving piece of music performed by an orchestra—each small component playing an important part in the overall piece. In this respect, the role of a conductor and of an automotive designer aren't that different," says Lockley.
The ad was shot on location in and around Gothenburg, Sweden, the home of Volvo. It's Grey London's second spot with a female driver in a traditionally male dominated category—following 2014's "The Swell" for the XC60, starring a female night surfer.
"The 'Life Is in the Details' campaign continues to leverage our Swedish provenance and design philosophy which is proving so successful for our business and brand in the U.K.," says Georgina Williams, head of marketing for Volvo Car U.K. "In the TV execution this is delivered via the musings of Marie Rosenmir's craft. Set against the Swedish landscape and crafted design features of the V40, the complete piece aims to establish the V40 R-Design as a car for the discerning eye."
Creative Agency: Grey, London
Chief Creative Officer: Nils Leonard
Creative Director: Andy Lockley
Copywriter: Erik Uvhagen
Art Director: Johan Leandersson
Strategic Design Director: Wiktor Skoog
Business Director: Cristyn Bevan
Account Director: Tim Rogowski
Account Manager: Alex Nixon
Account Executive: Dominic Kolodziejski
Producers: Amy Cracknell, Mandy Saunders, Elaine Coyle
Directors: Leila and Damien de Blinkk
Production Company: Wanda Productions
Producer: Jane Lloyd
Director of Photography: Jakob Ire
Editor: Ben Campbell @ Cut and Run
Colorist: Jean Clement @ MPC
Sound: Jack Sedgewick @ Wave
Composer: Tom Player
CGI, Flame: Jamie Russell @ Gramercy Park Studios