Volvo Cars began to invest in safety early in its history. Committed to producing cars that are safe for everyone, the automaker’s three-point seatbelt invention has saved millions of lives so far, Volvo continuing its mission to save a million more people through its other innovations. Safety has always been a major thing at Volvo and now, the brand aims to make sustainability part of its culture and make it as prominent as safety has been over time.

To remind people what the real threat to our safety is, the automaker teamed up with Grey agency and launched the “Ultimate Safety Test,” a global campaign that reflects the brand’s commitment to climate neutrality and electrification, addressing the biggest safety challenge we have ever faced: climate change.

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The initiative includes a short film presenting the company’s impressive tests over the decades. The tour is made by a spokesman named Bjorn, guiding the viewers through the Volvo Cars Safety Center. He introduces the audience to frontal-crash tests and run-off-road tests, wondering if the latter is the ultimate safety test. Seeking an answer, he heads up North to the Arctic Circle to find out.

There, at the Arctic Test Facility, a 100-foot-drop awaits. Yet, a collapsing glacier interrupts him while trying to untangle the mystery of whether this is or not the ultimate safety test. The glacier is actually a reminder to us all that the biggest threat to our safety isn’t on the road. In this day and age, climate change is the ultimate safety test.

The campaign marks the brand’s ambition to help protect the planet by becoming a climate-neutral company across its value chain by 2040. In the context of a world that tries to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, a global transition to electrified cars is essential so Volvo aims for 50% of their sales to be fully electric by 2025 and only produce fully electric vehicles by 2030.

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“I am very proud to bring the Ultimate Safety Campaign to life,” said Mike Johnstone, Head of Central Marketing & Brand at Volvo Cars. “Sustainability is now as important as safety to us, with climate action having the highest priority, and Volvo Cars has one of the most ambitious climate plans in the car industry. That’s why we’re proud to highlight the work we are doing through this campaign taking real action to combat global warming.”

Javier Campopiano, Chief Creative Officer Europe and Creative Chairman UK at Grey said: “Working for Volvo Cars, a brand that cares, both about people safety and the world we live in, is a privilege. By creating the notion of the Ultimate Safety Test, we’ve just crystalized those principles and the menace we face our planet faces; a collapsing glacier represents the ultimate and biggest threat, the one we all need to tackle to be safe.”

The video was directed by Ivan Zacharias at Smuggler, shot in extreme conditions. To bring it to life, the team behind it went all the way to the Arctic Circle. They filmed at temperatures of -10°C and polar expedition suits were a must in order to be able to operate. The campaign covers TV, online video, social, digital, OOH and radio, and print.


Client: Volvo Cars

Head of Central Marketing & Brand: Mike Johnstone

Director Brand Management: Johanna Arvidsson

Agency: Grey

Global CCO: John Patroulis

CCO EU & Creative Chairman UK: Javier Campopiano

President/CCO UK: Laura Jordan Bambach

Global ECD, Volvo: Emiliano Gonzalez De Pietri

Creative Directors: Sam Haynes / John Gibson

Copywriters: Sam Haynes / Javier Campopiano

Art Director: John Gibson

CSO: Raquel Chicourel

Strategic Planners: Bhavin Pabari / Gilliam Caldwell-Dunn

Chief Client Officer: Jeremy Pyne

Business Director: Justine Johnson

Account Director: Andy Wynn

Account Manager: Cara Simcock

Agency Senior Producer: Lindsay Moyes

Agency Print Producer: Richard Ross

Designer: Michael Stephens


Social Media Agency: Wildfire

Managing Director: Olivia Clarkson

Creative Director: Vikesh Amey Bhatt

Account Director: Charlotte Scott

Strategy Director: Asad Shaykh


Production Company: Smuggler

Production Company Producer: Nick Landon

Director: Ivan Zachairas

D.O.P.: Jan Velicky

Production Design: Robin Brown


Photographer: Philipp Rohner – Getty Images