2021 Brand Experience & Activation


Product/ServiceVOLVO CARS
Category A01. Consumer Goods
Idea Creation FAMOUSGREY Brussels, BELGIUM
Media Placement MINDSHARE Brussels, BELGIUM
Production BOUNCE ROCKS Brussels, BELGIUM
Additional Company VOLVO CARS St Agatha Berchem, BELGIUM
Name Company Position
Balder D'hondt Volvo Cars Belux Consumer Experience Director
Lolita Swanet Volvo Cars Belux Marketing, Campaign and Performance Manager
Rene Aerts Volvo Cars Belux Corporate Communication Director
Peter Ampe FamousGrey Creative Director
Yana Gestels FamousGrey Creative
Zoé De Priester FamousGrey Creative
Floris Adriaenssens FamousGrey Strategic & Connection Planner
Olivia Naudts FamousGrey Account Director
Matthias Roose FamousGrey Account Manager
Klaartje Vanmulders FamousGrey Account Executive
Kaspar Verstraete FamousGrey Web Team
Stijn Swinnen FamousGrey Web Team
Nele Boets FamousGrey Web Team
Anne-Sophie Tonnelier FamousGrey Desktop Publisher
Charlotte Bodson Famous Productions (part of FamousGrey) Head Of Production
Marie Libouton Famous Productions (part of FamousGrey) Agency Producer
Sara De Grave Famous Productions (part of FamousGrey) Agency post-producer
Sven Van Hee Famous Productions (part of FamousGrey) Editor
Jasper De Ryck Famous Productions (part of FamousGrey) Editor
Eli Sundermann Famous Productions (part of FamousGrey) Sound Engineer
Kathy Van Looy Famous Relations (as a part of FamousGrey) PR Director
Déborah De Klerck Famous Relations (as a part of FamousGrey) PR Manager
Astrid Mattelaer Famous Relations (as a part of FamousGrey) PR Manager
Roxane Lemaire Bounce Rocks Executive Producer
Lauranne Crahay Bounce Rocks Producer
Frieke Janssens as a part of Bounce Rocks Photographer
Charlotte Massa Mindshare Client Manager

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Safety and saving lives are one of Volvo’s core objectives. The brand is dedicated to improving the safety of all road users. However, safety is becoming more and more a commodity; claimed by different car brands that introduce similar safety innovations. We found that stress is the cause of 50% of road accidents especially on the first day of school “Be Safe, Be late” is a safety campaign by Volvo in which we ask employees and employers to start working later on the first day of school to create a safer traffic environment for our children.


Fourteen children get injured daily commuting to school. Volvo is a firm believer that number should be reduced to zero. That’s why Volvo not only massively invests in technological features that ensure driver’s safety but also think outside of the box, or car in this case. Safety for everyone on the street is key. However, safety is becoming more and more a commodity claimed by different car brands that introduce similar safety innovations. If we want to continue to claim thought leadership in this domain, we need to keep refreshing this association. Making it meaningful by creating a societal dimension to safety that goes beyond the car Our mission was to strengthen Volvo’s safety leadership through an awareness campaign that would not only be seen by many but would also have the potential to become a conversation starter that could spark the societal debate and change perception on road safety.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

September marks the start of a new school year. Everyone has to rediscover their place in an environment that’s getting much more crowded with different road users sharing the same space. Needless to say, this brings a lot of stress to everyone on the road, not in the least to parents. The combination of a new routine, dropping off the kids, and getting to work on time makes this day extra stressful. That’s why we created “Be safe, Be late”. An activation in which Volvo invites all companies to allow their employees to be late at work during the first day of school in order to create a safer traffic environment for our children. To convince our audience, we let the children themselves do the talking through impactful portraits in which they call the audience to turn the most stressful day into the safest day of the year.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Road safety is more than just infrastructure or driving a safe car. It’s also about those who drive the car. Drivers who suffer from work-related stress are more likely to speed and take other risks while driving, and more likely to be involved in serious crashes. This led to the insight that if we can eliminate driver stress, we can make the roads safer for everyone. In collaboration with VIAS (the Belgian institute for road safety), we’ve conducted research that shows that stress is the cause of 50% of all road accidents. Furthermore, the research also indicated that drivers are (25%) more stressed on the first day of school compared to other days. The root cause of this increased stress was found by parents needing to be at work on time and the mental pressure that came with it. Making it clear we should focus on removing this stress.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We launched the campaign 4 weeks before the first day of school. Presenting our research findings to the press in which the CEO of Volvo Belgium announced the campaign along with a statement that both Volvo dealerships and the Volvo factory in Ghent would start later during the first day of school, calling all Belgium companies to follow this example. The announcement was promoted through a paid social campaign, followed by campaign material targeted to both employers and employees. Companies were directly contacted through personalized direct mailings. POS material at dealerships and partnerships with parent influencers made sure our campaign was heard by everyone. To maximize the momentum during the first day of school, radio commercials were broadcasted during the morning, and OOH’s were installed on the most important traffic junctions in Belgium. On top of that, we achieved editorial coverage on all radio morning shows nationwide on September 1st.

List the results (30% of vote)

More than 200 companies participated in the campaign, sending the ‘Be safe, be late’ message to more than 30.000 employees through a personalized toolkit they could use to run the campaign in their company. This included email signatures, mail templates, OOO messages, flyers, etc. On top of our paid media campaign that ran on all social channels, our message was also supported by Volvo dealerships and parent influencers who actively promoted the action and participated through their own channels. Thanks to this approach, we managed to reach 1.7M parents with this very important message. But reaching our audience was not enough. By sending out traffic experts and Volvo spokespersons, we also caught the attention of the press and were present on all radio morning shows nationwide. putting the campaign right at the heart of popular culture and generating a nationwide discussion of how our work-life balance affects road safety.