VOLVO TARGETS YOUNGER BUYERS WITH 'EDGY' NEW-MODEL WORK

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Volvo Cars of North America, continuing its search for edgier advertising, will use such images as all-nighters and day-old pizza to pitch its new S40 sedan and V40 wagon.

The company is planning to spend $25 million on launch advertising for the cars, which arrive in showrooms in September. The new vehicles are a crucial part of Volvo's plans to attract younger buyers, who typically own a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or an Acura.

Volvo will target prospects about 30 years old who "have the same mind-set as Volvo owners of today-self-assured, highly directed and intellectual," said Bob Austin, director of marketing communications at Volvo.

MESSNER SHOOTING TV

Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, started shooting TV spots last week.

One stars a young man who pulls an all-nighter at a high-tech start-up. He awakens and goes to the parking lot, brushing his teeth with Perrier before changing his shirt.

The new ads will carry the tag "Somewhere between where you are and where you're going."

Volvo's shift in ad themes started in 1997, when it decided to reposition itself with new, less-boxy vehicles and more fun advertising without straying from its safety brand image. In fall 1997, Volvo tried to attract sport-utility vehicle owners with tranquil outdoor commercials for the V70 All Wheel Drive Cross Country wagon. Last year, Volvo emphasized emotion and fashion to launch the C70 coupe and convertible.

The media buys will be national. Under a new regional ad association program Volvo started in January, the dealer groups and a new Messner unit-Fuel North America-will handle local placements.

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