The New Volvo C30 - C Things Differently
Volvo Car Malaysia
Web Designer/Multimedia Designer
Yap Fui Lon
Sonny Soh, Chris Tan
For a while, Volvo Car Malaysia was plagued with the problem that Malaysians perceived the cars they built to be fit for the 'older man'. This perception brought on by the squared shape Volvo's of the 1970s which eventually evolved to even squarer Volvo's of the 1990s really didn't help the situation. Yes, you could say that the cars were 'squared off' for good safety reasons, but this proved to be a bane for the premium Swedish car maker.
Now...enter the new millennium. 2008 to be precise. Remembering the design cues from older models like the Volvo P1800, and giving reign to a team of female automotive designers, thus was born the pocket-rocket known as the Volvo C30. In a nutshell, the C30 is Volvo's first 3-door, 4-seater coupe. And it is everything but a squared-off car. Heck, it even comes packed with nifty little features here and there to boot. However, the Swedish car maker even took things a little further by empowering their drivers with the option to personalise their very own Volvo C30, even if it meant looking risqué in a conservative little country like Malaysia. Ultimately, this broke the mould of the old Volvo design philosophy and ushered in a new perception which certainly helped people C Things Differently about the Volvo brand and its cars.
The Brief: Volvo's challenge to us was simple. Empower users with the ability to create their ideal Volvo C30 online!
So, the big question was, how do we change people minds and how do you make people C Things Differently? The answer to that question for us was to give them a set of new eyes, or 'lenses' to C Things Differently with. Essentially, that became the inspiration for us to use the idea of 'trial frames' (the funky glasses opticians put on you to measure the capabilities of your sight and by dropping and changing lenses). Users would have to use these circles of lenses which help them see different features of the Volvo C30, and like the optician himself, make little nudges or adjustment changes by rotating the lenses to get the picture looking right. They would quite literally be able play around and customise the C30's 16 different exterior colours, 5 body kits, 15 interior seat colour combinations, 9 sports rim sets and 19 custom designed decorative appliqué films. The end results of this customisation process basically happens right before their eyes. Staying true and ensuring users do C Things Differently about the Volvo brand, we literally even broke all Volvo guidelines save the recognizable Volvo typeface*.
Understanding that customisation requires some level effort from the user, that effort in itself is rewarded. Users essentially get to walk away with their customised Volvo C30 in the form of a desktop wallpaper where it acts as a constant reminder for them to C Things Differently. And, if it truly is their heart's desire to own that same C30, a spec sheet with the customisation details from the user can be printed out and brought to the closest Volvo dealer for order.
*Note: No pastel colours and images of frolicking Swedish people were used in the production of this site.