Although it was largely forgotten by the time Axe offered to send consumers into space during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 ("Lifeguard"), Volvo and Virgin Galactic used Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 to do exactly the same thing. (Both aimed to make real Sony’s fictional space tourist of “The Trip” in 2003’s Super Bowl XXXVII.)
At the time of this ad, via Euro RSCG, Virgin Galactic said its first commercial space flight was just two or three years out. By the time Axe got around to making its offer eight years later, in its case promising rides on Lynx spacecraft owned by Space Expedition Corp., no Virgin Galactic passengers had yet entered space. Asked about Volvo’s contest years later, a company spokesman told Ad Age there was one winner in Colorado. “He ultimately opted for the cash payout of about $200K,” the spokesman said in an email.
Only slightly more common among Super Bowl ads than promises to blast viewers out of earth’s atmosphere are spots that promote more than one brand -- watch for Richard Branson’s rocket to reveal a bumper sticker about his “other vehicle” -- although Volvo is clearly in charge here.
AGENCY: Euro RSCG
QUARTER AIRED: Q1