by Matt Brogan

Since the application began in November of last year, Volvo’s “DRIVe Around the World” challenge has become the most installed branded application on Facebook with some 63,000 teams taking place in the virtual event.

The application challenged users to virtually drive a Volvo C30 DRIVe to a Facebook friend who lives as close to 1,335km away as possible (the distance a C30 DRIVe can travel on a single tank). The car was then passed on from friend to friend trying to complete a virtual journey around the world in 80 days.

Although no team managed to circumnavigate the world within the 80 days challenge, teams travelled massive distances in the challenge including all the way from Cape Town, South Africa to Samara, Russia trying to beat their competitors in Asia, who travelled from Sofia, Bulgaria to the border of Mongolia. Others tried their luck on the East Coast of Africa travelling to Singapore or crossing the Atlantic to reach their friends in the US.

The winning team, who made the most efficient journey, were able to “drive” their C30 DRIVe all the way from Sweden to Egypt, while meeting all the rules and objectives of the challenge.

“Here at Volvo Car UK we have a vision to be leaders in use of social media as part of our strategy to appeal to a larger, younger audience. This campaign’s success clearly shows that we are on our way to achieving this,” said Ms Anita Fox, Head of Marketing Communications at Volvo Car UK.

“To be number seventeen on the list of most installed Facebook applications and number one among branded is great and more than we ever expected”, said Mr Lukas Dohle, Live Communication and Social Media Manager at Volvo Car Corporation in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“DRIVe Around the World was based on the philosophy that any given person is connected to the rest of the world’s population by only six degrees of separation. Our idea was to create a compelling experiment that encouraged people to get in touch with one another in a new and unique way.”

The contest began on November 16, 2009 and ended February 5, 2010. The winning team will be rewarded by a donation from Volvo Cars of 15.000 EURO in the team’s name to a Gold Standard certified wind farm project in Izmir, Turkey. The wind farm will use the funds to produce renewable and clean energy with the donation more than enough to offset the amount of carbon an average person would create in a lifetime.