Terence Zhou
Based in Mintel's Shanghai office, Terence is a Research Analyst for Mintel China Reports covering the automotive industry.

In celebration of the coming festive season, Volvo Cars has launched the brand’s global ‘Drive their imagination’ Christmas commercial which is receiving positive response worldwide. The commercial features the Volvo Car Rider Concept XC Coupe, a toy car designed just for kids.

Aside from just promoting the product, Volvo Cars has managed to tug at heartstrings through its touching commercial which subtly encourages parents to drive the imaginations of the ‘next generation of Volvo drivers’. This is a strategy that the brand has used to create an impression during the early ages via parents, all with the aim of having these ‘future consumers’ get on the aspirational journey of owning a Volvo one day. And it is a strategy that can work well in China given the festive timing and personal nature of the campaign.

Mintel research shows that the Christmas and New Year’s season is the biggest Western shopping festival in China, during which 53% of consumers have bought gifts for others and 38% for themselves. Furthermore, our research indicates that Chinese car buyers associate cars with their childhood or the feelings of home.

With consumers associating cars with childhood memories, it makes sense that Chinese parents will be receptive to Volvo Cars’ ‘Drive their imagination’ commercial, and in turn, buy these toy cars as gifts for their little ones during the festive season.

Sometimes it’s not just about sales, rather it’s about building brand loyalty for the next generation—and this is something that Volvo is achieving with its Christmas campaign.