By by: George Achorn
Feb 18, 2004, 04:28
If you surf the Volvo Car Corporation official websites, and we highly suggest you do, you’ll find several dedicated micro-sites developed for the launch of the all new S40 sedan. Featuring 3-D tours, screensavers and high-resolution wallpapers for visitors, European versions of these sites also include a link to a video called 'The Mystery of Dalaro'. Much in the genre of the television show ‘Unsolved Mysteries’, the documentary investigates a story revolving around the purchase of 32 S40s all in the same day and all in the small coastal town of Dalaro from a dealership they claim never sold 32 vehicles in a whole year.
Quoting Jungian theory and siting different impressive statistics, the documentary is an entertaining piece. It’s so well done, this leaves the viewer wondering if the Mystery of Dalaro is in fact a true happening or not. To be truthful, it’s a fictitious story created by Volvo’s European ad team that has been so successful, it’s fooled more than a few visitors to the Volvo sites.
As if to go one step further, there is now a website supposedly owned and operated by the documentary’s Venezuelan director Carlos Soto. The site suggests that Sato was duped into making a documentary about something that may be false. A second film found at the director’s site shows why he believes the original ‘Mystery of Dalaro’ to be staged.
It would appear that not only is the ‘Mystery of Dalaro’ a very creative bit of fiction made to help launch Volvo’s super-hot upcoming S40, but so too is the Sato website. Spoofing the documentary’s own expose’ nature, the ad agency went one step further to humorously expose the real truth, while also helping market the new car, with several of the car’s features also humorously highlighted in the second Sato film.
In a recent article about the Sato website, Revolution Magazine (UK) suggested that a Google search on Carlos Sato turned up results including a Spanish fish monger and corporate relations director for the Coors Brewing Company, but no Venezuelan director.
The Dalaro ad campaign was created by MVBMS Fuel Europe, an Amsterdam-based ad agency that has been on contract with Volvo since 2000. Simon Pride, European account director for the agency was quoted in Revolution as saying “People are absolutely saturated with advertising these days and we need to find new ways to capture their imagination and get them involved with Volvo. The internet offers great opportunities to tell interesting stories about the brand, and to do so in more innovative and entertaining ways.”
Watch both pieces and you’ll see that, despite the faux serious nature of the first piece, an underlying theme of humor is there. You’ll find yourself giggling as you make your way through the second Sato piece.
Just to be sure, Swedespeed did some investigative reporting of its own. Running a “WhoIs” search on the carlossato.com web address, we found it was owned and operated by one Paula Quinones, not surprisingly out of Holland where the ad agency is based.
The Mystery of Dalaro Documentary
Carlos Soto Website
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