Modern Marketing Awards Case Studies Brand Strategy

Why Volvo encouraged its male staffers to take equal parental leave


By Awards Analyst | writer

December 8, 2022 | 5 min read

Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Volvo Cars won at The Drum Awards for PR 2022 in the Internal Communication category. Here, we find out how Volvo launched its gender-neutral parental leave policy.

'Time To Take It' by Volvo Cars

'Time To Take It' by Volvo Cars

H+K insights found that most dads take less parental leave than they are given by their company due to perceived stigmas. Our Time To Take It aimed to normalize taking leave and make Volvo staffers feel proud to work for a company that offered equal leave.

Volvo Cars wanted to launch its gender-neutral parental leave policy in a way that created fame and made its staffers feel proud.

The brief

At work, people who are always available to work are favored above others, Volvo needed to break the stigma around taking leave. Of the new fathers who are eligible for paid paternity leave 76% return to work after less than a week and 96% take less than two weeks.

To mark the introduction of its equal parental leave policy, Volvo wanted to create fame and social attention. The campaign needed to have global relevance with a specific focus on China and the USA. In the EMEA Volvo rolled out a pilot study in 2019, Volvo Cars meaning the story wouldn't be new in those markets.

The idea

In just 22 business days the Time To Take It campaign was conceived and delivered. A hero film was created along with social cut downs which were translated into local languages. The core media assets and EMEA pilot study findings were then distributed to the global press.

For social, a Linkedin article was published and animations were produced to feed into organic posts. For internal communications, assets were sent out to promote the campaign among staff with FAQs and guides.

The results

The campaign amassed 257 articles reaching an audience of 87 million with the policy accounting for 21% of all Volvo Cars coverage in that period. All of the articles adopted at least one key message from the campaign. And on social, there were 3,559 Twitter posts with 2,612 unique authors.

Since launching the policy in March 2021, Volvo cars have logged 4,925 unique parental leave users. The company also registered a significant take-up in APAC and the US where parental leave policies are weaker than in other regions. In Q3 45777 Family Bond days used were used compared to 161 in the quarter before the campaign - a 2743% increase.

The campaign worked by inspiring men to take up parental leave while also driving the brand fame with media.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for PR 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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