Contrary to popular belief, Volvo's first campaigns in the US did not focus on safety, but rather on durability, reliability, and quality...all traits that were lacking in a lot of vehicles on the road.
Back then, when seat belts were optional in some cars, safety didn't sell. It wasn't until the late 60s when safety became a selling point. Volvo's early groundwork for durable cars helped pave a perception in people's minds that Volvo meant safety. It's a premise that rang true back then and still rings true today....minus the traditional "mad men".