Our favourite web video of the week is this commercial from Volvo called the ‘Epic Split’ featuring the old mussels from Brussels himself Jean-Claude Van Damme. The stunt, meant to advertise Volvo Trucks’ new dynamic steering system, has drawn more than 54 million views on YouTube since the video was posted over two weeks ago. While Volvo say the ad was “set up to demonstrate the precision and directional stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering,” it’s pretty clear the real aim of the video was to be shared via social media and go viral, which as you can see from the YouTube views it has clearly achieved. Whether it will sell more Volvo trucks is another thing, however in terms of being memorable and funny – it’s pure brilliance!
The entire video is made up of a single shot that starts off in on a tight close up, smoothly tracking out into a wider angle and sweeping sideways, leaving us with a beautiful composition of the trucks with the sun rising in the background. Directed by Andreas Nilsson, the entire video was filmed on a closed-off airstrip in Spain called Ciudad Real, located just south of Madrid. Despite the production team rehearsing the stunt for 3 days, the final version had to be completed within just 15 minutes so that the sun was at the right angle.
When launching the new range of trucks, the creative team at Volvo came up with a strategy of producing YouTube films that would create attention and entertain audiences, hopefully paving the way for future advertising and sales campaigns. Well we think it’s a great start – simple idea, a great concept and seamless execution.