brand storytelling — August 3, 2016 at 9:38 am

Bad or Brilliant? That Weird Unintelligible Volvo Wedding Spot

by

The Volvo Wedding Spot

A few weeks back I shared an example of great storytelling from Infiniti.

Now I’d like to show you some bad storytelling, this time from Volvo.

You might already know the Volvo Wedding commercial; it’s been out there quite a lot.

I’ve actually seen it numerous times, but still can’t make head or tail of it.

And I’m not the only one:

As “Frankthetank91” commented on Youtube:

WTF is going on in this commercial???!!!!

But to make matters more interesting, this bad story might actually be brilliant, either by design or in spite of itself.

If you haven’t watched it yet, take a look at the video above and you’ll see what I mean.

Volvo Takes Us On A Ride To Nowhere

Volvo Wedding opens up on four people riding in a Volvo XC90, apparently coming back from an event. If you’ve seen the spot on YouTube where it has a title, you know they’re returning from a wedding. Otherwise it’s not that obvious.

At the wheel is a woman in her late 40s. Next to her is a young man scrolling through photos he’s taken at the reception.

He appears to be of south-asian descent. The only reason I bring this up is that it suggests to me that he’s probably not related, in a familial way, to the driver, nor to the lighter-skinned man who sits directly behind him.

Caddy-corner to our photographer, also in the back seat, is an older bearded man in his 50s who is strangely reminiscent of The Most Interesting Man In The World. He too is of darker complexion and may be related to the young man up front.

So, from the outset this story presents us with a mystery: who are these people, how are they related, where have they come from and where are they going?

Volvo Wedding Sets Up A Story But Doesn’t Resolve It

This isn’t a bad set-up for the first act of a story. It establishes a problem, raises questions. And if it were a good story, these would be resolved at the end.

But as we’ll soon learn, the resolution never comes.

Act II, which should push the story towards this all-important denouement, is initiated by the driver turning on the radio to a beautiful, romantic song.

The camera then cuts to the older bearded man who, smiling, reflects upon a wedding ring he holds in his hand.

Is this his wedding ring? The driver’s wedding ring? A ring intended for the bride or groom from the wedding they’ve just attended? 

Mystery abounds, and as I’m watching I can’t wait to see how Volvo will pay it off.

Sadly, Act III, which should put our questions to rest, never delivers.

All we get is The Most Interesting Man In the World gently reaching forward and touching the driver on the shoulder. She smiles. We cut back to The Most Interesting Man In The World looking down once more at the ring and then smiling wistfully out the window as the Volvo XC90 drives off in the distance.

A tagline appears. It reads: “Our Idea of Luxury”

Huh?

If you’re as bewildered as I am, don’t worry. You’ll find many allies in the comment sections at YouTube or ispotmedia.tv

But The 30-Sec Spot Is Part Of A 3-minute Film!

I’ve learned that this 30-second spot is just part of a 3-minute “Extended Version” of Volvo Wedding.

After searching the web, I found it here.

And yes, things do make a bit more sense in the longer cut, but not entirely.

From what I can gather, the The Most Interesting Man In The World had just made a kickass speech at his daughter’s wedding (a speech he wrote and rehearsed while sitting in a parked Volvo XC90, no less!) The driver is his wife, the mother of the bride (perhaps). The photographer is a friend of the family on the groom’s side (the Best Man?). The identity of the fourth person in the car remains a mystery.

And it appears that the bit with the ring is The Most Interesting Man In the World symbolically restating his love for his wife. Yet curiously, in the extended version he doesn’t present the ring to her as she drives. Instead we only see him adjusting it on his finger.

What’s more, although the extended spot, like the 30-sec version, ends with “Our Idea of Luxury,” Volvo positions the car in its YouTube info as “a place to collect your thoughts.”

So I guess Volvo is defining “luxury” as the opportunity to “collect your thoughts.”

Not a bad insight and, broadly speaking, this extended version delivers on it.

But I’m Just Watching The 30-sec Spot!

None of this really matters, however, to the 30-second story we’re talking about.

In its TV-spot version, Volvo Wedding is unintelligible and unsatisfying. Moreover it doesn’t communicate the strategy which provided the foundation of the longer cut.

Now, Volvo could have easily tagged the spot with a link to the extended version. In that way we’d at least understand that the spot we’re having trouble grasping is just a teaser, that it is simply Act I of a larger story that will be resolved in the extended film.

But Volvo doesn’t offer that up.

Instead, we’re left hanging.

Narrativus Interruptus.

But Maybe It’s So Bad It’s Good!

There is an argument one can make, however, that the very incomprehensibility of the spot is what makes it effective, perhaps not as storytelling per se, but as “disruptive” marketing.

After all, I’m writing about it. You’re reading about it. And many of my friends and colleagues have talked about it.

So in terms of getting attention and generating brand awareness, Volvo Wedding may indeed be a hit.

It could even open up a whole new genre of marketing that is purposefully unintelligible:

Not Understanding is the New Understanding.

And I don’t doubt that some folks at Volvo and its agency are saying this was their plan all along.

Nah, It’s Just Lazy and Sloppy.

But I can’t buy the so-bad-it’s-good argument.

Let’s concede for the sake of argument that Volvo Wedding significantly raised awareness. But awareness of what?

As someone who has spent many years in advertising agencies and on film sets, this looks like a project that simply went off the rails. Either the 30-second spot was an afterthought or it was just poorly conceived in the first place.

And if a “place to collect your thoughts” is the strategy, why not cut a 30-second spot from the opening of the extended version, in which The Most Interesting Man in the world is doing just that?

The bottom line is that we’re teased into a story that we hope will offer us a satisfying conclusion.

But our hopes are thwarted and, if you’re like me, you’re left with a bad, even slightly creepy feeling.

I can’t believe that’s what Volvo had in mind.

It’s a shame, really. The spot and its extended version are beautifully shot and cast.

But the story Volvo ultimately delivers is one about a brand that is confused, sloppy and lazy.

And if they’re this careless with their advertising, what does that say about the quality of their cars?

Now, that’s not a message you ever want to drive home.

Become a better storyteller. Check out our Strategic Storytelling seminars and workshops.

89 Comments

  1. Michelle Farnum

    Yes, bad, slightly creepy feeling.
    I thought that the woman driving was the bride, the guy in the drivers seat, the groom, and the most interesting man in the world, her father. To me, it has an icky incestuous thing going on. And then there’s the question of why is the bride driving all these men? But your explanation of the woman driving being the mother of the bride makes more sense.
    I thought the idea was Volvo is a car for women. But I am always left with wtf.

    • Hi,

      Really? The woman driving is the wife and mother of the bride and has put in a song that brought back memories of their time together before they got married…therefore, the touch on the shoulder and reminiscing on the face of the father in the back seat…

      • It’s weird, that is why it’s weird, why is her “husband”(?) sitting in the back seat and the photographer in the front?? Why isn’t he sitting next to her?

  2. I cried, ok. But a lot of people are saying those actors aren’t even American. I’m not saying it. But people are. Lots of people saying that, ok? And let me tell you- that ring is for losers. Right? You saw that ring? Cheap. Probably not even real gold. Maybe it’s from China. I don’t know. I think some people said its from China. But believe me, ok? We’re going to make better commercials. Huge commercials. We’re gonna book smarter storytelling and make the best commercials. And you know who’s gonna pay for it? Right? Not us, ok/ I can tell you that. But someone’s gonna pay, ok? Believe me.

    • Making commercials great again.

    • Well it is foreign if you pay close attention to the writing in his journal. And the ring who cares what it is make of, it the symbol of forever. Volvo is made in Sweden. This sure got the public interested and isn’t that the idea with advertising. Everyone is saying “what up with that Volvo ad” and always remembering it’s Volvo. Advertising at it’s best.

      • Sorry, but the idea of advertising is to arouse interest, create a desire, and make the consumer make an action, which is purchase the product. The Volvo ad does NOT do what advertising is charged with doing…….have the consumer purchase the product. All this Volvo ad does for me is, question the mentality of the management of Volvo, which when you are an automobile company, is not good.

    • Donald, thanks for the laugh…you never disappoint.

    • L. Kenren Clemon

      DJT: your comment on 08/03/16: that was an awesome hilarious read! you need to write a book! and do an SNL skit!

  3. Rob Underwood

    I watched this spot for the first time and it may me feel like a loser. I live in a brownstone (and own our unit) in Park Slope Brooklyn. I went to an elite liberal arts college in New England where every other car in the parking lot was a Volvo. I am in my mid 40s and make a good living (easily in the Volvo target income brackets). I’m a parent. I’m probably exactly in the the demographic Volvo is targeting for its marketing (or at least I would guess I am) and this ad just left me feeling like I’m not good enough for Volvo — like they are too elite for me. This sense of “You’re a loser if you can’t live life like this” was very profound. It made be resent their brand. Felt this feeling strongly and this was before I read David’s post above.

  4. Judy Boucher

    Sommertime???

  5. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

  6. Mary Gillilan

    This couple has been driving to the wedding for over a year? Are they lost? Did they get a brand new 2017 Volvo, or is Volvo just selling rhe 2016 model that was featured last year? Does it come with GPS? It might help them actually find the wedding venue.

  7. Melanie Coleman

    I think the guys a total babe!! Call me Volvo guy!!

  8. The woman driver and the man siting behind her seem kind of smug to me —- smug about their love, their wonderful lives, and their great car….It makes me want to stay away from Volvos…..

  9. This is all about who should be driving the Volvo, the Dad, he has relinquished power, therefore making him more powerful and attractive to potential Volvo buyers. He is smart, sexy, secure in his power because he can allow himself to feel deeply. Buy this car. It’s okay to sit in the back seat and weep. He is still the driver because this is about his feelings.

  10. “who are these people, how are they related, where have they come from and where are they going?”

    You’ve just described the “Sweden” of today. They don’t know, either.

  11. I thought they had just left a funeral.

    • I thought I was the only one that though they just left a funeral.. maybe the man in the backseat wife had died. Her best friend driving.

      • I thought they were leaving a funeral, as well. Maybe it was for the bearded man’s mom or dad, and he was playing with that parent’s wedding ring, which he retrieved before the parent was buried. If it was a wedding, why is the groom in the car with his mom and dad? Shouldn’t he be with his new bride? If bearded man is thinking so fondly of his wife, why is his ring off of his finger? Usually that’s a visual cue in storytelling that a person is ambivalent about his marriage…

    • I am glad I am not the only one that thought he lost his wife, the driver was his daughter, and who knows who else the others were.

  12. Who are these 4 mysterious people?

  13. Jerry Sollien

    I think this article underestimates the effectiveness of this commercial. It’s brand building. And for “not understanding is the new understanding”; in the -90s, a Swedish lozenger company ran a 5 second ad with Vikings on a ship for months without even attaching their name. Works great.

  14. Most Interesting Man’s voice doesn’t match his looks.

  15. May be it represents a car built by an Indo-European nation (Sweden)

  16. shawnomalleyiii

    Such a pretty stupid commercial. Makes no sense. The father is a sissy.

  17. Robert Smith

    Stupid pointless commercial,,Volvos are snooty overpriced cars.

  18. All Volvo TV commercials are so dark, cold, gloomy, depressing and just plain disturbing, I wonder how they expect to sell their cars.

  19. Stupid self-absorbed and frankly creepy commercial. Why would this ad make anyone want to buy a Volvo? Honestly, I’ve owned Volvos for years, but these ads simply makes me want to retch in the drivers seat and then take it to a one of the German Big 3 dealerships for a trade in. At least they know what they’re selling. Volvo has become lost in navel gazing.

  20. Thank you for addressing this issue. I have not only been puzzled about the stupid Volvo commercials but now that another one has been released, I want to know who their agency is. What are they thinking? What is the message? Is it about the cars? Quality? Lifestyle? Glad to know I am not the only one confused. I thought the point of advertising was to tell consumers why they should buy your product. These commercials fail miserably. The creative types have hijacked common sense.

  21. Crossleydd42

    This advert was filmed in the US and not Sweden, which has white road markings, not yellow. Also, the notes are written in English and American is spoken.The advert, at the end, on the screen, states that, in effect, Volvo vehicles are a place to reflect, which is what the bride’s father is doing when tidying up his speech before the wedding reception. It’s an advert merely reflecting the specialness of Volvo cars. It’s up to us to decide on the accuracy of the message!!!
    My refection is that the rear doors are too narrow to easliy enter and exit the vehicle!

  22. What the hell is all that about,what does it have to do about a Volvo???

  23. I love the fact that the Dad takes the time to think about his feelings sited comfortably in his nice car before going to the weeding of his son. This ad gives room to imagination and this is what matters. It is about building a good life, sharing happiness and love with your beloved ones and bringing them to happiness while giving them the golden keys of happiness. Volvo wants probably to get its cars part of that journey leading to happiness. That’s for me the underline message.

  24. Bruno Ponce Jones

    Francesca Flore’…

  25. Some very strange sentences and spellings here, do you work for Volvo?

  26. Louis Perez

    I wouldn’t call him the most interesting man…but rather an older looking Shia LaBeouf. Anyone else see that?

  27. The driver and the Most Interesting Man are the parents of the bride. They also have a son, who is in the back seat with Dad… and the son is gay. His boyfriend is riding shotgun with his mom. That’s why in the extended commercial you see the son driving the car with the boyfriend riding in the passenger seat and all of the wedding flowers in the back. I got a sense that their reference of luxury was more about special family moments and relationships. Those are the true luxuries in life. The commercial is really good… but the 30 second version is terrible and confusing. Which is why I googled it and found this post in the first place 😉

  28. I’m pretty tired of this commercial now, but my first impression was a family taking their son to be married. Wife/mother driving, husband/father in the back seat with another son and the groom in the front. The parent’s actions are just their reflecting on their own wedding. But then there was the ad where the father is rehearsing what he wants to say at the wedding to his daughter – not a son. So now I see it as the family returning from the wedding, not going to it. I dunno. As for what is Volvo “selling”, beats me. Maybe “I hope you’re all wealthy enough to buy one if these “

  29. This weird commercial is still on the air as of 5/2018. Makes me think of a funeral every time it comes on. It has NEVER caused me to think “gee, I’d like to drive a Volvo”. And it’s never caused me or anyone I associate with to discuss the Volvo brand, much less a desire to buy one.

  30. Pamela4014

    I can’t tell you how many times I have watched this commercial and every time, I think WTF??? I was so confused by the vignette that the fact that they were riding/driving a Volvo was completely inconsequential.

  31. Titan Ha'Ron

    How do you not understand this commercial, it is so simple. The older gentleman in the backseat is the husband of the driver. The younger 2 gentlemen are their sons. The older gentleman is sitting in the back with the son that is getting married that day. They are on the way to the wedding, Not leaving. The younger son in the front is not a professional photographer, he just bringing his personal camera too take pictures. Now.. commercial starts you see mother driving she gives a glance out the window making sure she’s heading in the right direction. Son in passenger seat check camera looking at pictures of his mother and father that he took before they left home. Father in the back with son that is getting married as that son constantly stares out the window nervously thinking about his new bride new life new future and father is there next to him for support. But father is thinking about his own marriage to the woman driving. Thinks how good ahe been for him and too him.. he touches her, that familiar touch that tells her what he’s thinking. He’s a happy man.

  32. I got to this site by googling “volvo hipster grandpa.” Hipsters are disgusting, try-hard narcissists. But it’s especially pathetic to see anyone over the age of 40 or so growing hipster taliban beards and wearing Pee Wee Herman cut suits. If you are old, be old. Don’t try to be cool for the approval/acceptance of the youngs.

  33. Boston Debbie

    This ad is shown constantly on the CBS app. It drove me crazy every time I saw it. I would pause it to look at the pictures on the camera. I thought maybe it was a funeral, too, and was the driver wife or daughter? There are flowers in the back of the car. And what’s up with the ring? Totally confusing, but I remembered it was an ad for a Volvo. Thanks for the article!

  34. “Nah, it’s just lazy and sloppy.” Congrats to the writer of this piece, who did a better job of telling a story than Volvo did. Glad to know it wasn’t just me who hates seeing this bit of nonsense.

  35. Keith Saucedo

    When you see anything right now with the word “Volvo” on it,what comes to mind? The ad does do what ads are supposed to do.It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a crappy and irresponsible ad, regardless if was intentional or not.

  36. As I sit here, at 330 a.m. on a weekday, I am simultaneously crying and laughing my ass off, because this commercial has enhanced my feelings of hopelessness, but these comments are hilarious.. Thank you, Volvo? But also, it’s mid 2018, why is this ad still running..

  37. Sinoeun Farrell

    I was thinking they just left a funeral and the guy in the back just lost his wife that’s why he has the ring in his hand. And I think the girl driving is his daughter and men are his sons. She puts on the music maybe of a song that the parents had on their wedding day is my guess also the flowers in the back might be from funeral.

    • I thought they were leaving a funeral, as well. Maybe it was for the bearded man’s mom or dad, and he was playing with that parent’s wedding ring, which he retrieved before the parent was buried. If it was a wedding, why is the groom in the car with his mom and dad? Shouldn’t he be with his new bride? If bearded man is thinking so fondly of his wife, why is his ring off of his finger? Usually that’s a visual cue in storytelling that a person is ambivalent about his marriage…

  38. I thought the older gentleman was the ex-husband of the woman, and the two men were their sons. The older man had amicably divorced the woman after finally admitting to himself that he was gay. Then he was going to marry the gorgeous young man he met after the divorce–but he was left at the altar with the ring he was going to give the new love of his life.
    Now they are driving back to his lonely home, and he’s thinking of the happiness he just lost, when the woman turns on either “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” or “White Wedding”.

  39. verucasalt

    I’m glad I found this site. After reading all of the explanations, I know have an understanding of what was going on because I had been puzzled. Of course it involved a wedding, but my initial understanding was that it involved a gay wedding; the bearded man is fondling his soon-to-be husband’s ring and he’s just relishing in the moment before he says his nuptials. The rest of the passengers are his family members and he touches his sister or best friend as she is driving as an act of gratitude for her support or something.

  40. First, proofread before you post!
    Next, the big story: this is the Fellini ad Volvo paid good money for so, by God, they’re effing airing that sucker!! They don’t understand it either!
    (I will continue driving the far superior Toyota brand of cars!)

  41. The parents are divorced or contemplating divorce. and the old guy regrets that. That’s why he’s playing with his ring (and finally puts it back on) and refers back to what he says in his toast. Son in the back seat. Son’s boyfriend in the front. Boyfriend calls the old guy “Mr B”. Wife is successful in her own right. It’s HER car.

  42. Leanne Falcinelli

    Your commercial is ridiculous. I NEVER want to see a soap opera with an over priced car. Its so ridiculous. I dont want to see three more commercials so I could find out whats going on in the first. Who cares. I change channels

  43. Stumbled on this site after seeing the commercial air once again. As a storyteller, the commercial shines for me as a nugget to launch from. After watching the full clip this is how I see the characters. TMIMITW (the most interesting man in the world – Ha! that made me laugh) is clearly the father of the bride. As he writes his toast he is reflecting on his own marriage and the pain of a separation. This fits with the cut to the shot of an older woman in the floral dress who is also contemplating her wedding ring, who is his estranged wife (also mother of the bride). The woman driving them probably to lodging after the ceremony/reception is sister of the bride, also daughter of TMIMITW. Different dress and different earrings than the woman shown earlier, with the fancy wedding ring. The front seat passenger is possibly brother of the groom (best man), which fits as to why he calls TMIMITW, “Mr. B”. The 4th man in the backseat I surmise is the partner of the best man, which fits with the earlier shot of the two men driving to the wedding site with the flowers in the back seat. Best man affectionately nudges partner’s arm as TMIMITW’s voice is speaking of having that special someone beside you. And that’s my interpretation.

  44. I have another interpretation – they are on the way back from a funeral of the wife of the man holding the ring…

    Volvo – please make your commercials more understandable

  45. I take it back – the wedding story it is… Old man delivered speech at driver and front seat passenger’s wedding!! Still strange that she’s driving…

  46. I thought they were leaving a funeral, and the ring belonged to his departed wife! Ugh, I hate that commercial but like a horrible event, I can’t look away. Either way, even explained, this does not make me want to go out and purchase a Volvo.

  47. What about the music? I find it equally deceiving. Vague.

  48. After seeing this commercial umpteen times, I finally googled an explanation. Still don’t understand it, but all your comments gave me the best laugh I have had in a long, long time. Thanks!

  49. Brenda M Kimble

    I loved this commercial! I am not sure why. But I can watch it over and over. I get caught up in it every time. Maybe it is the incredibly handsome dad. Loved it. I think I might have to go buy a Volvo. Loved it!

  50. father of the bride, husband, is in the back seat because of the strained relationship with his wife. they were separated perhaps. he messes with his ring. the sun son shares photos of a great speech he made at the wedding, and suddenly that sparks a tenderness between husband and wife once again, and reconciliation is on the horizon. there’s promise of union not only for the newlywed couple but for the parents as well. the guy in the back, who cares, probably some friend. in the long commercial, father of the bride shares pay of his speech and mentions mistakes in life and not giving up. it seems very personal and heartfelt, so it makes sense he’s reflecting on his own error and expressing his desire and willingness to face them and keep fighting for love. it was hard to come to that conclusion, but watching the longer version helped me confirm.

  51. Hate this commercial. Makes no sense. But thoroughly enjoyed reading this and the many comments. I laughed hysterically. Only today after wanting to see how many others were confused did I check to see what was actually being advertised.

  52. CBSN plays the commercial relentlessly; I’ve seen it hundreds of times. The story has never been clear. For instance they are returning from a funeral. The driver is ring man’s daughter-in-law. The ring is his dead male partner’s. She plays the smile song and they share a moment of fond memories.

  53. BMWDriver

    I saw the ad…just bought myself a BMW. ‘Nuff said

  54. These comments are cracking me up. But I say WTF? every time I see this ad. But I have always gotten the sense of a funeral from it. If it’s a wedding why in the hell is the old guy riding in the back instead of next to his wife? Simply an idiotic commercial imo.

  55. I thought it was a funeral, not a wedding, possibly with the casket in the back since there is a shot with flowers back there. I would look sad, too if somebody played that awful song—it sounds horrible! Thank goodness we only have to hear a few seconds of that wailing voice.

  56. im in marketing and it goes like this ,it does not make sense, i won’t buy the car, this is poorly done, i will stay with lexus.

  57. I actually LOVE this commercial and I’m kinda bummed there is a whole planned story around it. It’s shot beautifully with intriguing characters that make no sense but that is the beauty of it. Life doesn’t make sense. And this leaves it up to our own imagination to create the story as the world is seen by us individually. It’s leads just enough without giving anything away. I know it’s the VOLVO commercial. Did it sell me a Volvo? No. But I assure you other car commercials don’t either. What it does though is when I’m thinking about a car the name Volvo does come to mind which will lead me to research. So I think it’s Brilliant. The fact that I came online to look up the commercial already means its a HUGE win as I never do that… like Ever.

  58. Awesome commercial, Thank you.

  59. The man is a widower, his wife is gone and the ring is what he has left to remember/hang onto her. Should he keep it or move on, is his struggle.

    In his speech he took his daughter to camp by himself, because mom was gone.

  60. Caren Spitler

    Well, WIN for Volvo! They got exactly what they wanted out of both cuts. People are watching and talking about it and by this time are completely aware of the branding as well.

    On a side note, I find it odd that anyone is second-guessing how the people are related. Especially in any way due to skin tone differences. Again win for Volvo, keeping it diverse and a bit ambiguous in ethnicity and nationality.

  61. Well, WIN for Volvo! They got exactly what they wanted out of both cuts. People are watching and talking about it and by this time are completely aware of the branding as well.

    On a side note, I find it odd that anyone is second-guessing how the people are related. Especially in any way due to skin tone differences. Again win for Volvo, keeping it diverse and a bit ambiguous in ethnicity and nationality.

  62. I did not read all the comments, just the article. This ad does what it needs to do. It has been in my mind since I first saw it and I keep pondering the various possibilities. And I keep mentioning it to friends if the have seen that interesting Volvo Ad? It’s all about eyes on guys…that’s what counts. Can’t believe those in marketing question the method or the result. The questions are keeping this ad top of the mind for many. Bravo Volvo…..keep the mystery alive.

  63. Spank the Zelda

    Well I enjoyed reading all of the comments! After seeing sexy older man holding the ring, I thought maybe they were coming back from a divorce party. Hmpf!

  64. Well, all I have to say is that I’m glad I googled it, and I’m glad I’m not the only one. Who knew?

  65. Maybe the idea is more like a “choose your own adventure”. Maybe it was made to take advantage of the inherent Mandela effect. Humans automatically fill in the missing data, with “obvious truth”. There may also be some missing cultural values for some, like me, and “who sits where”, in the car, for the proceeding/preceeding event.

  66. Beep beep

    This ad would have been instantly forgotten if not for the fact that CBSN plays it at every commercial break like a friggin relentless Geico ad. Makes me double down on buying a far superior Toyota.

  67. Clearly, car theives on getaway run. Snagged a decent camera and silicon ring too! Should have nicked better wheels but probably had keys just hanging there.

  68. This is classy and lovely! The music, subtle sensuality, diversity, yay! I salute Volvo for, finally, a thought provoking commercial. I have never commented on commercials or much of anything else ever. It’s perfect, congrats.

  69. Just found this page, interesting discussion here. I watch CBSN while getting ready for work and have seen the short ad dozens of times. I just watched the 3 minute ad for the first time and what a different story from the 30 second ad. (at least in my head)
    Still not sure about who the blond woman is since she drove there alone.

  70. Outback Bob

    Mate, thanks for your insight into an ad we have seen numerous times and still have no freaking idea of the message. After reading your blog, I’m still in the dark, but at least I’m not the only one.

  71. Thank you for the link! I hate this commercial and it comes up many times in my Roku shows. The worst part is the fathers voice is nothing like I expected it to be. It doesn’t make me want to buy a Volvo that’s for sure!

  72. Guess I’m the only one that likes this commercial lol.. I just want to know who is the sexy man sitting behind the driver?

  73. I thought it was his wife driving and he is in backseat.. and she turns on music to reminisce and he is not feeling the relationship and looks down at his ring. And as he then looks out window it’s like he wants to throw the ring out the window and smiles as he watches it as they drive away..

  74. The man in the back seat if R Jack Foley and it is the ONLY reason that I liked this commercial. Take a look ladies, do you see what I mean: //gudsol.wordpress.com/2017/07/01/r-jack-foley/

  75. I’m not sure why this commercial is confusing to everyone. I think it’s a beautiful, thought provoking advertisement that I find myself watching every few months (I’m a father of two girls so it gets me everytime.” “A place to reflect.” The older gentleman is clearly the father of the bride. He drives the Volvo to the secluded light house to write his toast/speech, where he initially reflects on his relationship with his daughter. When he starts writing about never giving up on each other and the difficulties of marriage, he is reflecting on his own relationship with his wife, who he is estranged from. Their son is gay, and its the son’s boyfriend/husband who is showing him the pictures on the car ride home. The father is sitting in the back seat to symbolize his estrangement from his wife. When the wife turns on the stereo, the song evokes emotions from the father who begins to once again reflect. He plays with his wedding ring and then makes a warm gesture to his wife, symbolizing that he is going to “never give up” just as he said to his daughter in his speech.

  76. Maybe I’m warped minded but when I see that commercial with the “mom” driving her maybe future son-in-law to a presumed wedding, I think that the family is planning something far more nefarious than delivering a groom to his bride. Perhaps they’re planning to sacrifice that young fellow!

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