Cannes Lions winner: Volvo brings car safety for all with EVA Intitiative

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To improve gender equality in all cars, Forsman & Bodenfors launched a global campaign called The EVA Initiative together with Volvo Cars, in which 40 years of research was shared with the world, winning the Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Creative Strategy in 2019.

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Case study summary

  • Vovlo wanted to emphasise its car safety with new campaign

  • New crash tests got rid out outdated measures that favoured male body types

  • Showed how its cars offer same protection for women and children
  • The challenge

    That’s the deadly truth about a world with male-dominated crash tests. But Volvo Cars has collected crash data since the 1970's to better learn what injuries arise in different accidents for men, women, and children. The reason? Crash test dummies are routinely based on the average weight and proportions of the male body, and safety features that are optimised for men do not provide the same level of protection to women and children.

    ”With more than a million people globally dying in road crashes every year, this ad literally puts the finger on one of the big problems the world is facing. The work Volvo Cars does to tackle the problem, highlighting that women risk being injured to a higher degree than men, is truly admirable”, said Leo Dal, one of the creatives behind the campaign at Forsman & Bodenfors in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    The solution

    The result is an integrated campaign that confronts the public with statistics that show that women, teens and children are more badly injured in car accidents than men.

    The initiative goes far beyond awareness-raising, however, showcasing the counter-measures developed to improve the safety offered by Volvo, but also – and perhaps more significantly – sharing the research with other auto brands to ensure that all manufacturers can offer a safer experience to all their customers.

    As part of that same initiative, a print ad was created for Volvo Car Sweden. An ad that reveals your chances in a car crash by measuring the size of the hand. Since most crash test dummies are based on the average male, the hand inside the ad is based on those same measurements. So, if your hand doesn’t fit — you may be more likely to get injured in a car crash.

    The results

    ‘The whole case study tells the story about the need for less bias and more inclusivity,’ said jury president and Futuremade founder Tracey Follows. It also ticked a number of other significant boxes, she explained, describing the project as ‘a great category job and a great real world job… It is open source and it is about collaboration’.

    Jury member Ian Davidson from VMLY&R also pointed out that the Grand Prix had not been awarded on the basis of immediate efficacy: there were campaigns in contention with stronger results. However, the long-term impact the E.V.A. Initiative would have across the industry and far into the future helped it secure the top honours.

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