Cannes Lions

Music of the Mind/Human Made Stories

GREY, London / VOLVO / 2018







Volvo believes that people should be the focus. This belief forms their perspective on innovation; technology doesn’t move the world forward, people do. The only way to convincingly tell this story was to find the people putting that belief into practice in progressive, innovative ways – they became the foundation of Human Made Stories.

Music of the Mind tells the story of Rosemary Johnson a young, promising violinist in the Welsh National Orchestra, until a tragic accident robbed her of speech and movement, making it impossible for her to play again. 29 years later, working with Professor Eduardo Miranda, Rosemary took to the stage and using her brain to choose and manipulate the notes to be played by a surrogate violinist, she was able to express herself through music once again. Her story of human passion combined with technological innovation is the exact reflection of Volvo’s human-centric core belief.


The first objective was to find the defiant pioneers that were not only interesting and doing innovative things in and of themselves, but also shared the same values and beliefs as Volvo. They would be the personifications of and mouthpieces for the brand.

This kicked off months of research to find our defiant pioneers, the innovators who are building something that will change the way we think and live. We found our human-made innovation in Rosemary and Professor Eduardo Miranda’s story of reconnecting a musician with the ability to make music using her mind.

Idents were launched as trailers for the documentaries that lived across all Sky and Volvo’s owned online channels & optimised across YouTube pre-rolls & social. The idents created the curiosity while the documentaries were our place to tell a longer story and communicate what makes Volvo different – our human centricity.


Human Made Stories sat comfortably within the Sky Atlantic universe and alongside some of its biggest properties – including Game of Thrones. There was a 91% view through rate via Sky OnDemand and a total of almost 87,000 people on YouTube watched a minimum of 75% of the story despite having the option to ‘skip ad’ after 5 seconds of viewing. We had created a format that enabled us to tell a brand’s story in a way that was as compelling as the traditional programming on Sky Atlantic and also built intrigue in audiences across channels. Brand stories do not have to be manifesto campaigns that flaunt everything the business does or says, but rather can be stories that people want to watch and engage with when you tell them through people that represent what your brand believes in.

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