Volvo raises brand awareness in New Zealand while supporting local media and positive impact content

June 30, 20224 minute read


Volvo was looking to use cutting-edge approaches to raise brand awareness with meaningful advertising strategies while supporting high-quality local media. The automaker’s goal was to showcase itself as a modern, sustainability-focussed brand, with a core emphasis on making the world a better place.

To do this, Volvo partnered with its agency, Together, and The Trade Desk to find the right inventory so that their ads could appear alongside content while still being served to the right audiences.

As a leading independent media agency in New Zealand, Together is keen to spearhead the development of “media for good” practices that prioritise ad investment in positive-impact publishers and content. This includes helping the industry move media buying from the lowest cost to the greatest positive social impact, along with developing bid algorithms that factor in elements such as environmental impact or diversity and inclusion credentials.

Finding the right media and placement in a good contextual environment was not easy. However, with the Together team’s abundant expertise on media planning and The Trade Desk’s vast amount of high-quality inventory from leading publisher partners in New Zealand, Volvo was able to develop great strategies quickly.

“You’re going to see challenger brands that are embracing data-driven advertising begin to take market share away from traditional powerhouses.”

Marketing Manager
Volvo New Zealand


To start, Volvo and Together used data processing to identify factors that create a virtual index for good media – content sentiment, content topics and semantics, and source credibility and authority. The agency then activated Oracle’s contextual targeting tool on The Trade Desks platform to run Volvo’s ads alongside the sustainability-related content.

Together worked within The Trade Desk's platform and used Oracle to create custom segments under the sustainability category for the first time. The Volvo brand-suitable segments included sustainability, energy topics, auto, environmental science, hybrid cars, business, technology, food, and positivity. These custom segments can continue to be used as an innovative option for media buying and targeting tactics for future campaigns.


The agency went even further to develop a well-structured, tiered targeting strategy to rate the segments based on the pre-defined criteria and priorities using Volume Control, which is powered by Koa™, The Trade Desk's artificial intelligence engine. With Volume Control, Together was able to funnel investment and prioritise spend on segments that were better performing and deemed most sustainable.

Not only did this improve the overall spend efficiency of the campaign, but it also helped Volvo increase their audience reach as well as support their goal of focussing on sustainability.

“We’re delighted with the outcome of this pioneering partnership. We’re big believers that media buying needs to evolve to reflect a range of new priorities for advertisers, so demonstrating the business impact of this is especially pleasing.”

GM, Data, Tech, and Programmable
Together New Zealand


Volvo and Together saw great results from this pilot campaign in less than one month. They successfully delivered more than 3 million impressions alongside high-quality content on the open internet. Moreover, they discovered that those who were exposed to a Volvo ad served by The Trade Desk were much more likely to land on Volvo’s website than those who were not:

  • 477 percent increase in conversion rate when served an ad through both The Trade Desk and social media.
  • 469 percent increase in conversion rate when served an ad through both The Trade Desk and search.

Conversion rate by media exposure

These results proved the importance of coordinating media buys in tandem across different channels and the power of the open internet.

This innovative market-first campaign not only successfully reached audiences who engaged with sustainability issues, but also transformed Volvo and Together into industry leaders that pioneered a sustainable media ecosystem and supported the local publishers that produce positive-impact content.