If there was any doubt about Volvo’s uncoolness this morning, it has now been resolved.
The carmaker published a bizarre statement today in response to the release of Ed Balls’ notes detailing Project Volvo – the secret 2005 plot to try and get rid of Tony Blair and make Gordon Brown PM.
Project Volvo was so called because research had shown that Brown was seen as being like a Volvo: dependable but dull. To be fair, there are much worse things that one could say about a car than that, and the Brown/Volvo comparison has already been known about for some time. But that hasn’t stopped Volvo taking it personally.
So much so, in fact, that the firm decided to set the record straight about its brand today in a press statement. The Project Volvo documents, it said, showed “just how out of touch with reality senior politicians within the previous government had become with modern Britain”.
Then comes the really sad part: “Clearly before labelling the plot, Labour politicians of the time hadn’t acquainted themselves with the Volvo brand in the last decade with cars like the new S60 and V60 bringing a new dimension to the brand in terms of design and driver appeal.”
This is the sort of thing that happens when marketing idiots start believing their own PR.
My advice to Volvo: Your brand is whatever people think it is. You can’t just tell them it’s cool and be done with it. And if you want to be seen as dynamic, agile and innovative (yes, that’s how Volvo describes itself), then don’t spend your time putting out sulky press releases about something someone said about you SIX YEARS AGO.