The Overview

"Drive it like you hate it" (1962) - Amil Gargano,
Art Director

"It is an interesting idea that someone would try and resurrect work,
and see if they could use that as a bridge to the current Volvo brand.”
— Amil Gargano

Working with Amil Gargano and Volvo, we found a unique human story that exemplifies, “Drive it like you hate it” and utilized modern technologies like social networking, online maps and more to tell it in a truly unique way.

Harvey Gabor
Amil Gargano, 1966
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ExperienceThe Desktop Ad

The Original Ad

In 1962, Amil helped introduce Volvo to America with a simple yet powerful line that made the Swedish car brand stand out.

When Amil Gargano and his colleague Carl Ally set out to help introduce the Swedish-made Volvo to America, one fact immediately stood out to the pair. A Volvo would last for an average of 11 years, which was about twice as long as the American-made automobiles. This simple statistic inspired the now legendary line, “Drive it like you hate it”.

The 1962 campaign featured a Volvo being pushed to its performance limits by a rally car driver, while the copy speaks of its ability to withstand tough climates and tougher conditions. Within 5 years, Volvo sales had nearly tripled and the once unknown manufacturer had established its position as a tough and reliable car. The campaign achieved widespread acclaim within the industry and “Drive it like you hate it” is heralded as one of the greatest pieces of automotive advertising in history.

Amil Gargano and his team in New York City.
Amil Gargano and his team in New York City.
View The Original Work

Amil Gargano

Amil Gargano began his advertising career in Detroit before moving to New York in 1959. It was here he joined forces with Carl Ally and formed the advertising agency Ally & Gargano. The agency had a simple credo: “Be blunt, open and honest. Find the truth, and then hit people over the head with it.” Amil is an inductee into The One Club for Art & Copy, Creative Hall of Fame, and the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Now retired, he lives with Elaine, his wife of 47 years, with whom he has a son and three grandchildren.

  • 1962

    The Original Brief

  • 2012

    The Re-imagined Work

  • The Original Brief

    Communicate the reliability and durability of the Volvo brand.

  • The Original Work

    When you own a car that’s tough and durable, you can ‘drive it like you hate it.’ A print ad and a television commercial were created featuring the headline and a Volvo being pushed to the limit in rough terrain.

  • The Re-imagined Work

    A human story that embodies “Drive it like you hate it”, Irv Gordon is an ordinary driver with an extraordinary car. Since buying his car at age 26, he has driven his 1966 Volvo P1800s a world-record 2.9 million miles. With today’s technology, we can tell Irv’s unique story and allow the viewer to become a part of that journey in real-time as Irv counts down to the 3-million-mile mark - a true testament to the strength and durability of a Volvo, and proof you can drive a Volvo ‘like you hate it’.

The New Ad

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  • Target Audience

    • Gender: Male/Female
    • Age: 25-54
    • Income: $100K+
    • Interests: Adventure Travel, Fashion, Luxury, Fine Dining

    Affluent urban dwellers are Volvo's primary customer base. Use ad setting to see how it can reach this audience with Google.

  • Ad Settings

    This ad shows the most relevant story from Irv's life based on the interests of the person viewing it. Select one to see the stories change.

Mobile & Tablet Apps

The Tech

The Concept

New York resident Irv Gordon is an ordinary Volvo driver with an extraordinary car.
He has driven his 1966 Volvo P1800s a world-record 2.9 million miles. Not only
can we tell Irv’s story through a series of films, with Google+ and Google Maps we
can allow the viewer to become a part of his unique journey in real-time as he
counts down to the 3-million-mile mark.

Desktop Tablet
  • Relevance Matters

    People engage with things they care about. Each story piece in Irv’s journey offers a different point-of-view, each tailored to a different audience. Innovations in targeting technologies on the web make it easier to serve the right story based on the viewer's interests, ensuring a relevant entry point into Irv Gordon's story.

  • Start Your Own Story

    Irv Gordon’s offers a unique perspective on life and driving. The display ad enables viewers to discover more about Irv’s destinations during the films, and prompts viewers to start their own journey at the end by combining location cues and a database of interesting drives in their area.

  • The Journey Continues

    Every mile Irv drives is a new world record. So while the films must come to an end, a live GPS data feed on Google Maps means viewers can continue following Irv Gordon's story in real time and watch as his odometer ticks towards 3 million miles.

  • Influence the Story

    While traditional storytelling ends when the film does, digital advertising allows the audience to connect with the hero after the film in real-time. By pulling in Irv Gordon's Google+ feed, the audience can interact with Irv himself, track the car's progress and get regular updates on the journey.

  • Different Devices, Unique Experiences

    Different devices provide unique user interaction models. We leverage the salient features of tablet devices and desktop browsers to custom design the ad experience. And because the ads are built in HTML5, viewers can watch the films and connect with Irv Gordon from all kinds of devices.

How The Ad Works

  • Audience Based Ad Serving

    Audience targeting signals determine which
    story is presented to the user in the ad unit.
    Repeat visitors are shown new stories. On
    mobile devices this is done based on the
    profiles of an app's user base.

  • Contextual Ad Serving

    The content of the webpage is used as a
    contextual signal to determine which story
    should be shown to a user. On mobile devices,
    this is informed by the content of the apps.

  • Ad Selection

    The ad is selected for the user
    and served to them on mobile
    tablet or desktop.

  • Desktop Display Ad Interaction

    The user engages with the display ad on
    desktop.

  • Tablet Display Ad Interaction

    The user engages with the display ad on
    tablet.

  • Relevant Story

    The user is shown relevant video with
    location-aware directions to landmarks in the
    story.

  • Google +

    Users can interact with Irv’s live
    Google+ feed.

  • Google Maps

    Users can see Irv's real-time
    location and also get directions
    to landmarks from the various
    stories.

  • Live Odometer

    Users can follow a live feed of
    vehicle's odometer.

  • Car Mounted GPS Unit

    Data is transmitted live from the car to a
    web-based database.