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Would you buy this car? Photo: YouTube (screenshot)
It's no secret – Volvo is viral material.
Volvo Trucks managed to rake in some 1.1 billion kronor ($170 million) from a series of ads with Jean Claude Van Damme. And Zlatan Ibrahimovic rewrote the Swedish national anthem for an ad with Volvo Cars. And Swedish pop star Robyn was next in line for Volvo limelight.
But the latest viral video selling the Swedish car comes not from the company itself, but from a southern Swede in need of more garage space.
"I bought a new car but I only have one parking space," Christoffer Castor, a 28-year-old video advertiser from Skåne, told The Local. "So I got two of my friends and shot the film during lunch."
The car in question is a red Volvo 245 from 1993, undeniably one of the most lacklustre models to be produced. But with the camera work of colleague Christian Svanlund and a witty and wacky script written in under 20 minutes, no one would ever know.
Castor put up the colourful car ad on Swedish buy-sell site Blocket, and included a link to the video on YouTube. It wasn't long before people started taking notice.
"The Swedish version got a lot of attention," Castor remarked. "All the big newspapers are writing about it. I didn't think it would be a hit outside of Sweden, but people started asking for it in English."
Castor's English-language video ad. See the Swedish version here, which already boasts around 250,000 hits
Castor complied, and the video is now international. A few details were lost in translation – making the ad even sillier. A blend of inflated truth and obvious gibberish, the ad refers to the vehicle in lofty and sometimes ludicrous terms.
"Sprung from the hands of engineering wizards of a bygone era, forged in spotless tweed in three different sauces," says the enigmatic voice of Castor's comrade, Johan Karlberg.
With a quarter of a million views on YouTube in just three days, Castor's Swedish version of the ad has garnered plenty of laughs, and even a tweeted thank you from Volvo. But the car is yet to be sold.
"There are people interested but no real concrete offers yet," Castor said.
And the new car? Also a Volvo.
"1968," Castor laughed. "I like 'em old."