Skip to main content

Someone stared at a Volvo on their phone for nearly 10 hours to win it

Volvo really wanted viewers to ignore the 2019 Super Bowl, so it developed a promotional smartphone game to give them something else to do. Players could eat, drink, and party with friends, and they were allowed to listen to the game, but they couldn’t watch it or any of the million-dollar car commercials that peppered the event. The three viewers who won the staring contest received a brand-new S60 sedan to drive for two years.

The Swedish firm rebelled against the big game and the ad culture that surrounds it with a smartphone game called The Longest Drive. The app showed footage of the S60, the latest addition to the Volvo range, and it used facial recognition technology to track how much time each player spent looking at his or her phone’s screen. The three people who logged the longest time won a two-year subscription to Care by Volvo, the company’s subscription service. It includes an all-wheel drive S60 Momentum, routine maintenance, wear-and-tear items, and even insurance. The catch, of course, is that Volvo will ask the winners to return the S60 at the end of the 24-month period.

“At Volvo, we feel that this approach is better than just running a television commercial, it brings more excitement and engagement to our fans,” wrote Bob Jacobs, the vice president of marketing for Volvo’s American division, in a statement.

The Longest Drive lasted much longer than the Super Bowl. The winner stared at the S60 for precisely nine hours, 47 minutes, and 42 seconds. That’s even more impressive when you consider the game started at 6 p.m. ET. Second place went to a player who stared at the S60 for seven hours, 46 minutes, and 25 seconds. Finally, the third-place winner logged a time of seven hours, 37 minutes, and 51 seconds. Volvo hasn’t revealed the winners’ identities.

Participants took over 40,000 test drives, a number that eclipsed Volvo’s expectations. This isn’t the first time the company has rebelled against the Super Bowl, however. In 2015, it launched a promotional campaign called The Greatest Interception Ever and encouraged fans to tweet during commercials showing cars from rival automakers.

Updated on February 11, 2019: Added information about the winning viewers.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
iPhone: Apple video highlights 10 cool features on its handset
iPhone 12 range

Apple has just dropped a new video highlighting 10 useful tips to help you get the most out of your iPhone.

10 helpful iPhone tips | Apple Support

Read more
Apple will now let you fix your own iPhone in win for right-to-repair campaigners
iPhone 13 Pro style shot.

Apple will finally let iPhone users repair their own iPhones, the company announced this week. It will start this effort with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, with an expansion to older iPhones and more of its product lines in the near future. Dubbed Self Service Repair, it is aimed at those customers who have the experience, skills, and willingness to get hands-on with product repairs. The company will send (or rather, sell) people parts, tools, and a manual in what is a huge win for right-to-repair campaigners.

The new Apple Self Service Repair Online Store will offer more than 200 individual parts and tools for sale.  Apple also noted that these customers who get access to the parts, tools, and manuals join a club of more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers.

Read more
2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country first drive review: Android on board
Front three quarter view of the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country.

Volvo is known for two things: An obsession with safety and station wagons. Safe and sensible Volvo wagons have dotted suburbia for decades, but the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country puts a modern spin on this classic Swedish conveyance.

Volvo’s biggest wagon debuted as a 2017 model and gets some notable updates for 2022. It’s now running the Android Automotive OS infotainment system, with Google features baked right in, even when your phone isn't connected. It also gets a new mild-hybrid powertrain for added fuel efficiency. Finally, the standard V90 has been discontinued, leaving only the more rugged Cross Country version.

Read more