Volvo: She Blinded Me With Safety

Everyone wants to be safe.

Everyone wants to be safe. Except, apparently, for Volvo. The brand that has been synonymous with safety has had an on-going campaign for the past few years trying to shed the market reputation of being the producer of the kind of vehicles that you’d feel confident putting your loved ones in. And it isn’t like that reputation hasn’t been earned, because Volvo engineers have taken safety very seriously, which takes the form of creating structural architectures for the vehicles that manage crash energy as well as developing and implementing electronic safety systems that are at the top of their class.

For example, the forthcoming S60 has “Collision Warning with Full Brake Assist,” which is just what it sounds like: If you’re going to rear end the car in front of you and don’t seem to be doing your job of getting on the brake pedal, then, after providing you warnings via a heads-up display and an audible alert, then the car gets on the binders and you stop. And I mean STOP. (It is an experience you’re not likely to forget.) While you are still likely to have a collision, it will be greatly mitigated.

Also, the S60 is taking pedestrians into account. Sensors determine if someone is in the path of the car, and if the driver doesn’t get on the brakes, the car will. Again, this is not to be thought of as a means by which the wayward pedestrian is going to just walk away, but there is a significant increase in the likelihood that the injuries are reduced.

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But the ad campaign that is being used to launch the S60, “The Naughty Volvo,” is sort of like the a variation on the classic librarian taking her glasses off, or Miss Sakamoto in Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science” video.

To be sure, the interactive films in the Naughty campaign, shot on the Volvo proving grounds are funny and engaging. And they do point out the safety technology behind the S60.

But is it really necessary to go for the “naughty”? After all, just look at this car. It exudes style. And with safety to boot, how can you beat it?

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“Good heavens Miss Sakamoto - you're beautiful!”