This morning I came across an interesting article on abcnews.com that pointed out something I had never before realized: Volvo and men share the same logo. That’s right, the well-known circle with an arrow pointing diagonally to the upper right, made famous by disco kings of the ’70s, is also the logo used by makers of the safest cars on the road. Just do a quick Internet search of the two symbols and it’s unmistakable.
When asked why the logos look so similar, Volvo’s product communication specialist told ABCNews “It’s not the symbol for male. It’s the symbol for Mars and Iron. It’s meant to stand for strength.” In theory this makes a lot of sense, but it seems Volvo has been limited in how it can promote this symbolism without bringing to mind to pimps and pink Cadillacs. In fact, most of the time you see Volvo advertisements, the name stands alone, unaccompanied by the graphic.
Luckily, I don’t think anyone holds a trademark on the male symbol, so the 81-year-old carmaker doesn’t need to fear a gigantic class action lawsuit for infringement. On the flip side, Volvo could be preparing to file a lawsuit against any man who promotes himself by using another registered trademark, especially as Volvo’s brand awareness continues to grow. Perhaps the company applauds the free publicity.
Still, it’s a wonder they have been able to keep this logo and use it so subtly that people don’t talk about it all the time. If Volvo had been on top of things during the ‘60s and ‘70s, their cars would have been the must-have transportation for all male hippies.