Volvo New Beginning with Avicii and Audra Mae
Volvo Cars is working with mega-DJ and producer Avicii to run “A New Beginning”, a 4 minute music video celebrating their shared Swedish heritage. The latest chapter in Volvo’s “Made by Sweden” campaign kicks off with a 4-minute music video set to Avicii’s reworking of Nina Simone’s 1964 anthem “Feeling Good,” created specifically for the project. The new arrangement takes the classic to unexpected places with the addition of Avicii’s production and hauntingly soulful vocals by Audra Mae. The film follows the 25-year old Stockholm-born Avicii (born Tim Bergling) traversing the idyllic landscapes of his native Sweden in the new Volvo XC90. Shot on location in Stockholm and other places of personal significance to Avicii, such as Österlen, the film tells his own story of renewal, following several years of hard touring. The video also features members of his family and close friends. The campaign is online at Volvocars.com.
“In the past six years I have been on a never-ending tour, apart for the last nine months during my time-out,” Avicii says. “I did around 325 shows in a year with traveling on top of that. It couldn’t continue. In the end I had to re-evaluate my situation and change my lifestyle. Sweden is an important place to me, it’s where I gather my strength and energy with family and friends. This whole process of re-evaluation and renewal is what Volvo encouraged me to visualise in the video. I think we did a great job together.”
The gorgeously rendered panoramas provide an evocative background to his journey, both in his Volvo and in his life, as the contemplative wunderkind mulls his superstardom and the dichotomy of Avicii/Tim Bergling. Johansson treats us to glimpses into Avicii’s more casual and playful side as he relaxes with his loved ones, while the image of a child playing in the furrowed soil gives us context and contrast to the complexity of what his life has grown to be.
The song Feeling Good was initially picked as a proposal by Volvo Cars. Avicii says, “I’ve loved the song for a long time. It’s one of the best songs ever written. It’s just timeless to me. I’ve been a big fan of Nina Simone, Etta James and that kind of sound for a very long time. So when I found out that was the song that Volvo Cars wanted in the music video I was really excited and happy to do something with it. I wanted to create something new, and at the same time stay true to the original.”
Alain Visser, Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing & Customer Service at Volvo Car Group, explains, “The Volvo Cars brand is on the ascendant, just as Avicii is, with a growing global audience. We thought there would be no better way to celebrate our heritage and passion for life than to work together to produce something special that reflects who we are and what matters to us.”
“It was important to me that if we did something together it would be new and unique, that it was a longer term global cooperation from both sides and that it would completely align with our brands in both a credible and creative way,” remarks Ash Pournouri, founder of At Night Management, whose vision and creative guidance has helped bring Avicii to worldwide acclaim. “Everything you see in the video is true to the Avicii brand. Volvo Cars’ lead tagline is ‘A New Beginning’ and that is a theme we share with Volvo.”
Gustav Johansson has previously brought his vision to Volvo’s “Made By Sweden” campaign with the short film “Vintersaga,” which recently won Gold for Cinematography Craft at the Art Directors Club Awards. Other recent work by Johansson includes the short fashion film “Just A Minute” for Vogue, featuring 50 Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson, and the widely shared World Food Programme campaign, which features footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović revealing the names of 50 people suffering from hunger tattooed on his body in a gesture to raise awareness about world famine.
The Volvo New Beginning campaign was developed at Forsman & Bodenfors, Stockholm, by art directors Andreas Malm and Staffan Lamm, copywriter Fredrik Jansson, designers Martin Joelsson and Nicolas Peyrau, account directors Anders Bothén, Hans Andersson, Erik Sollenberg, account executives Martin Johansson, Helen Johansson, agency producer Jens Odelbring, web producer Malin Careborg and planner My Troedsson working with Volvo marketing team Alain Visser, Thomas Andersson, Charles Frump, Mikael Karlsson, Christopher Dahlin and Anna Wiresén.
Post production was done at The Chimney Pot by colourist Oskar Larsson, sound designer Fredrik Jonsäter and online editor Petter Lindholm.
Music, “Feeling Good”, was written by Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse, performed by Audra Mae, mixed and produced by Avicii.