'Afoot And Light-Hearted,' Volvo Borrows From Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman never had a driver’s license, but he did wax poetic about the open road. Taking a cue from those musings, Volvo has launched a campaign -- created by Grey New York -- for the new S90 luxury sedan that will run for the foreseeable future. 

The first ad in the campaign opens in a lonely café with a writer sitting at a booth pecking away at his computer. A waitress saunters over to refill his cup and asks what he’s writing about. He doesn’t know. “Still trying to figure that out,” he says. 

The waitress, who has nothing else to do because the writer is the only customer in the joint, asks to take a peek at the work. The writer relents and the scene launches into a vision of a flaming tree, multiple open road scenes, some buffalo and a fox, schoolgirls, a community dance, a shot of what could be an LA freeway and the ocean. 



Those scenes are intermixed with interior shots of the new sedan (driven by the writer), including its fancy GPS display. All the while, narrator Josh Brolin is reciting lines from Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road,” which is punctuated by soaring music credited to Hollywood composer Dan Romer. Swedish director Niclas Larsson and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth also contributed to the work. 

The campaign for the S90 is the latest installment of Volvo's "Our Idea of Luxury" theme, first introduced in 2015 with the XC90 model. The campaign story and related elements will be featured across a variety of platforms, including television, radio, print, social, and digital.

1 comment about "'Afoot And Light-Hearted,' Volvo Borrows From Walt Whitman".
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  1. Barry Abrams from M. Shanken Communications, August 31, 2016 at 9:24 a.m.

    Volvo, like it's deceased cousin (SAAB) always had a special appeal among intellectuals and college professors.

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