Headlines > News > 135,000 Enter \'Boldly Go\' Sweepstakes for Ticket to Space

135,000 Enter \'Boldly Go\' Sweepstakes for Ticket to Space

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Wed Mar 9, 2005 3:15 am
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space.com: During the Superbowl, Volvo launched a “Boldly Go” ad campaign that compared its new XC90 SUV to a rocket blasting into space. The ad involved complex tie-ins and an offer to send a sweepstakes contestant to space.

The company is now calling it “Volvo’s most successful integrated marketing campaign,” generating the advertising equivalency for press coverage more than double the investment in the expensive ad.

In the commercial, the rocket pilot turns out to be billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, the money man behind the recent record-setting plane flight by Steve Fossett in the GlobalFlyer aircraft. Branson is also founder and chairman of The Virgin Group of Companies, which last year announced Virgin Galactic, a new company that aims to take tourists to space within three years. That bold plan is based on Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne, the sub-orbital craft that last year one the X Prize (Rutan also designed GlobalFlyer).

The final piece of this high-powered relationship puzzle: Volvo’s ads (also in print and online) invited people to register (sorry, through Feb. 22) to win a seat on a Virgin spaceflight. Volvo says 135,000 people signed up online.

The company also received more than 1,000 pre-orders for its new V8 machine. While the vehicle won’t quite rocket off the planet, the campaign suggests space remains a good marketing vehicle.

The sweepstakes winner will be announced March 24 at the New York International Auto Show.

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