Volvo tries to drive into teen hearts through 'Twilight'

Volvo logo

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The latest movie in the Twilight series grabbed top honors at the box office over the holiday weekend. It took in about $69 million in North America alone. Advertisers knew the movie would do well, and ponied up for product placement. Given the movie's target audience, shots of Burger King make sense. But what's Volvo doing in there? April Dembosky has the story.


April Dembosky: Volvo has built its reputation on safety and sensibility. The name conjures images of soccer moms and station wagons. Not tween girls who don't even have their license yet.

But it was Twilight author Stephanie Meyer who put her lead vampire behind the wheel of a Volvo. So the company seized on the marketing opportunity when the book became a movie. Now it's trying to appeal to teens, and their so-called "twi-moms."

Linda Gangeri: Our car is more than just safety.

Linda Gangeri is a Volvo spokeswoman:

Gangeri: It really is about being perceived as a cool, attractive brand.

Stanford marketing professor Jennifer Aaker says Volvo's cameo in the Twilight series should help it achieve the kind of cachet all companies want.

Jennifer Aaker: One is to be a little bit more exciting and the second is to have a better stronghold on a younger consumer base.

Vampires, werewolves, and hoardes of squealing 12-year-old girls should help do it.

I'm April Dembosky for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...