Time to Move On: Forsman & Bodenfors for Polestar


On Valentines Day, Polestar teases its first fully electric car – the Polestar 2 – in this beautifully animated breakup letter. The letter states that the only way forward is electric – and that fossil fuels are history.

Today, lots of automotive brands are communicating advances in electric propulsion, but most of the cars produced are still powered by fossil fuel. Polestar is all in for electrification and from Polestar 2, will only produce fully electric cars.

“With this letter, we want to show how Polestar differs from the rest of the automotive industry. By moving on from the conventions of the old car world, we also point out the road going forward”, said Tim Heldmann, leading Brand, Marketing and Retail at Polestar.

Polestar declares that "things need to change, fast”, as the ink transforms into symbols of the traditional car industry: Futuristic concept cars, pumpjacks, exhaust fumes in big cities, gas- guzzling muscle cars and dated sales experiences. The film ends highlighting the launch date of the next chapter of the Polestar story – the electric Polestar 2.

Via the letter, Polestar makes it clear that they think differently, and they are serious in this commitment. The Polestar factory in Chengdu will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China – and one of the most efficient in the world, with a target of Gold status in the globally-recognized LEED ratings. They also highlight that Polestar’s subscription model of car ownerships meets modern consumer’s needs. And, instead of making customers travel to out-of-town car dealerships, they have revealed the concept of Polestar Space retail environments that are conveniently located in downtown areas.

Pontus Caresten
Copywriter Forsman & Bodenfors, Göteborg

Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.

Creative and copywriter. So I was part of coming up with the strategy and concept, and then I wrote the copy. Simply put. 

Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
It’s about creating interest for the upcoming all-electric car Polestar 2, and making a clear statement in the car world. Electric is the way forward. Fossil fuel is not. We thought the analogy of the broken relationship was an interesting backdrop for this idea. And we decided to conceptualize the breakup letter in a film with symbols of the car industry in floating ink. 

Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?
Almost everywhere you turn, major car brands are hyping all-electric vehicles. Yet most of the cars produced are still powered by fossil fuels. Polestar have made their choice, and from now on all of their cars will be fully electric. We based the creative on that. 

Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen?  
I pass on this one, but as always dozens and dozens of ideas end up in the trash can.

What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development?
Hm, difficult one. The animation itself posed some big challenges, since we had to experiment a lot. It’s a mix of filmed ink on paper, 3D animation, mapping and digital compositing. To get the organic and flowing movement took a lot of time.

What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?
As always, I learned loads of stuff. And this is truly an important subject. Digging into the world of electric, and fossil fuel, was super fascinating. The schizophrenia of the car world at the moment is understandable; it’s not easy to change an entire industry – transforming from fossil fuel to renewable resources. But it’s going way too slow, and there are too many empty promises right now. The transition needs to happen now, we simply don’t have time for anything else. 

Are there any specific causes your agency as a whole or you yourself hold near and dear? If so, tell us about them
It’s great to be part of the journey towards more sustainable transport, in this case launching a brand new electric car brand. Electric cars won’t save the world, but they’re definitely a step in the right direction. I also work with a public transport client, which will also be key in future cities. As an agency, we understand that we’re in a position of power. And we’re clear about wanting to have a positive impact, not only on our clients’ business, but also on society as a whole.