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Josh Brolin Reads Walt Whitman’s “Song Of The Open Road” In Enigmatic New Volvo Ad

It’s not entirely clear what is going on here, and that’s just how it’s supposed to be.

Josh Brolin Reads Walt Whitman’s “Song Of The Open Road” In Enigmatic New Volvo Ad

WHAT: “Road to Inspiration” campaign for Volvo’s new S90 luxury sedan, inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman

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WHO: Volvo, Grey New York

WHY WE CARE: Things are bound to be eloquent when Walt Whitman is your copywriter, and his Song of the Open Road is used to great atmospheric effect in this nearly three-minute car ad. Josh Brolin narrates as the film follows an apparently blocked writer in a diner on what may or may not be an internal journey. Images of a burning tree, buffaloes, and a fox appear as he crosses a (presumably) American landscape in his luxury Volvo.

It’s all very mysterious and full of symbolism and metaphors. The lack of clarity is deliberate and intended to intrigue and spark conversation. This is the second “non-linear storytelling” film that Grey New York has created for Volvo. The manufacturer released “Wedding” in June, which was equally unusual and opaque.

About the author

Louise Jack is a London-based journalist, writer and editor with a background in advertising and marketing. She has written for several titles including Marketing Week, Campaign and The Independent.

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