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A first-time online launch of a new car model by Volvo Cars of North America via America Online surpassed Volvo' initial goals in reaching online auto buyers, the company said. Volvo chose AOL to create awareness and interest in the launch of its sporty new S60 sedan, bypassing the broadcast media traditionally used to announce a new car model. Since the Oct. 15, 2000, aunch, more than 1 million users have visited the Web site, yielding over 41 million hits. More than 20,000 people have configured their own S60 online and contacted a Volvo retailer. AOL promoted the VolvoS60 through banners and special content areas, embedding links that took members directly to the Volvo site. Volvo's agency of record, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, and Fuel North America, the integrated marketing unit of MVBMS, worked on the AOL initiative. Heavy Water, Long Beach, Calif., created the revolution Web site.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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