Digital Transformation Adtech Martech

Volvo takes US consumers on a journey through electric sockets for EV car launch


By Chris Sutcliffe | Senior reporter

March 28, 2022 | 4 min read

Volvo’s all-electric model, the C40 Recharge, is a change in direction for the automotive brand. To that end a new advertising campaign takes advantage of new virtual reality (VR) tech to bring consumers into the ad – using the same electric channels that power the vehicle.

Consumers interested in the new vehicle are invited to point their phone cameras at a plug socket, from which they will be taken through the wires in VR to a hub of information about the new model. The camera reacts to the image as if it were a QR code, and gives access to the VR experience. Once accessed, the electric socket will remain a hub for Volvo media and services, accessible anywhere and in which entertainment, informational content, services and “even gamified promotions are added to enhance the virtual reality experiences.”

The experience was created by Grey Brazil & NY, and was designed to communicate the power of the commonplace electrical outlet to transform both motoring and advertising. Grey Brazil’s creative director João Caetano Brasil said: “To launch Volvo’s first Pure Electric model, we needed an idea that was simple. As simple as plugging your car into the electric socket, making electrification even closer to the consumer and turning the socket into a brand icon.”

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

The campaign also aims to demystify electric vehicles to consumers who might be wary of the new technology: “The C40 Recharge campaign – which presents the car throughout the Americas – not only introduces the model to potential drivers, but also brings them closer to the sustainable market of electrification, demystifying this universe and solving possible doubts.”

In California electric cars currently sit at around 10% of the market. For the rest of the US, however, the proportion is much smaller – the all-electric car market share in 2020 was estimated by Experian at 1.8% across the country. Advertising campaigns like this seek to attract tech-savvy and more environmentally aware audiences who are habituated to consuming VR and augmented reality (AR) experiences on their phones.

Digital Transformation Adtech Martech

More from Digital Transformation

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +