Creative Strategy Eurobest Award
Product/ServiceVOLVO CARS
Category B05. Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility
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 Creative Strategy?

Road safety has always been a very important focus for Volvo and remains so today. To maximize this safety we had to look beyond the more commonly known causes, look further than safety technology and turn our eye to the more hidden causes of accidents. We’ve found a blind spot that has been overlooked but is responsible for 50% of all road accidents in Belgium: stress.


Fourteen children get injured every day 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 the driver’s safety but also think outside of the box, or car in this case. Safety for everyone on the street is key. Our brief was to generate awareness on Volvo’s inclusive take on safety where we look beyond car features and focus on making a positive impact for all road users.

Interpretation (30% of vote)

Volvo has a history in safety and a strong reputation to defend. They are pioneers in making cars safe. They were the first brand to share their knowledge concerning safety with other car brands and they were also first to broaden their view on safety and include all road users. However, safety is becoming more and more a commodity claimed by other car brands that introduce similar safety innovations. If Volvo wants to stay ahead in the game they have owned for decades, we need to create a societal and cultural dimension to safety. That’s why we choose to build our campaign around the first day of a school year. For people with children this is a moment when they are personally confronted with road safety: their child is setting off for school in an environment that’s getting much more crowded with different road users all sharing the same space.

Insight / Breakthrough Thinking (30% of vote)

We knew we had to kick off our campaign on Sept. 1st (back-to-school) to create a cultural impact concerning safety. But what should be our angle? What are the most important dangers on the road and how can we eliminate them? We made a list by reflecting on our own behavior and it turned out stress could be a crucial and somewhat overlooked factor. The VIAS Institute (Belgian institute for road safety) confirmed this. Their research shows that stress is the cause of 50% of all accidents on the road. Furthermore, the research also indicated that drivers are (25%) more stressed on the first day of school compared to other days. This led to the insight that if we can eliminate driver stress, we can make the roads safer for everyone.

Creative Idea (20% of vote)

To eliminate a significant cause of road accidents (i.e stress), we didn’t search for a solution through meditation courses or relaxing apps. We created a customer journey and found that the root cause of this stress was parents needing to be at work on time. This is especially true on the first day of school when routines need to be rediscovered and everyone has to find their place on the road again. After experiencing the emotional stress of the first day of school, perhaps an emotional goodbye at the gate followed by heavy traffic around the school, most parents then have to endure the stress of making it on time to work. The solution: an employer that reassures you it’s ok to be late on the first day of school. Our campaign message was simple: be safe, be late. We’ve asked employers to spread this message to their employees.

Outcome / Results (20% 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 relevant 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.

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

Safety and saving lives are one of Volvo’s core objectives. Their safety vision is one of the most ambitious in the automotive industry and is rooted in their safety leadership. That is why everything we do starts with protecting the people inside and around our cars. Because safety does not stop with the car itself, it goes beyond the product and involves every road user around us. Their aim is that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo. Realizing that technology alone will not get us there, we’ve expanded our scope to also focus on human behavior. By integrating this mindset into our strategic thinking, we found that 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. Leading to the Be Safe, Be late campaign.