Volvo's Super Bowl Stunt Wants You to Stare at Your Phone Instead of the Game

Grey preps 'The Longest Drive'

Volvo is no stranger to hacking the Super Bowl. Its celebrated "Interception" campaign from 2015 urged viewers to tweet #VolvoContest whenever another automaker's ads aired on the game—for a chance to win an XC60 luxury crossover. 

This year, Volvo and agency Grey are prepping more shenanigans. The new campaign is called "The Longest Drive," and it promises three lucky masochists a subscription (yes, you can subscribe to Volvos now) to the new S60. 

The challenge is simple: Before the final whistle of the Super Bowl, visit on your phone and simply stare at the screen, which will be showing a "mobile test drive" of a Volvo. The three people who watch the longest get the car. 

That's a punishing way to spend your Super Bowl time—a kind of smartphone version of Hands on a Hard Body. (I suppose you could start the game toward the end of the telecast, though by then you'll be full of nachos and beer, and even less likely to win.) Still, it does fit into a tradition of automakers dreaming up sadistic digital games. Remember when Volkswagen challenged you to scroll down a website that was 567 miles long—the distance a Golf TDI gets on one tank of gas? Brutal. 

The Volvo thing is also very reminiscent of a stunt that Mercedes-Benz planned for last year's Super Bowl, which involved keeping your finger on a digital car the longest. Alas, that campaign fizzled when the site crashed. Hopefully Volvo has better computers. 

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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