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Volvo's Epic Split

Over the past two weeks, more than 54 million people have watched a one minute video of two trucks reversing. Why? Have a look for yourself:

There's a new way of advertising your products now. It's different, it's effective and it's catching on.

Redefining the ordinary

Why does it work?

You see trucks everyday. Delivering furniture, parked at lay-bys, creating a tailback on the highway. But how many people understand the mechanics of a truck, how they work? And how do you explain it without going right back to the beginning? You show it.

  • Volvo wanted to demonstrate something of the power and precision of their vehicles, to make their audience look again at what they see everyday. To actually realise what it is that they're seeing. What is dynamic steering? The new dynamic steering system combines conventional hydraulic powered steering with an electric motor that is fitted to the truck’s steering gear. The electric motor receives 2000 signals per second from the truck’s on-board sensors, allowing for more precise steering*. An impressive description but it hardly takes your breath away. A 1 minute video of two trucks reversing with perfect precision, visually demonstrated by a man straddling the gap? Now that takes your breath away.
  • Using Jean-Claude Van Damme, the famous Belgian martial arts actor in stellar classics such as 'Kickboxer' and 'Timecop', didn't hurt either. Creating positive associations between his image and Volvo's brand identity helps the audience appreciate the expertise and skill that both parties have spent years honing:

"I've had my ups and downs, my fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds. That's made me what I am today. Now I stand here before you. What you see is a body crafted to perfection".

  • The video leads you on a journey. When it first begins, it's unclear what you're looking at. In the space of a minute, the viewer is led on a process of discovery and, simultaneously, appreciation of the feat being performed, both by van Damme and by the two trucks.

Ultimately, why does it work?

Because it's video.

Because if you saw a photograph of van Damme bridging two separate trucks, it could have been altered or just plain invented. Because words just couldn't capture the visual impact.

And when I tell you that the stunt was performed in one take in 15 minutes, on an empty runway in Spain just as the sun was rising?* Well, that's just the icing on the cake.

The Epic Split is part of a series of videos that Volvo are producing to visually demonstrate the Volvo FM series. Ever wanted to watch a woman race against time as she attempts to cross a highwire between two trucks before they enter a tunnel? Ever wanted to see a hamster called Charlie drive a truck on a clifftop road guided only by a carrot? Now you can.

The Ballerina Stunt (Live Test 1)

The Hamster Stunt (Live Test 2)

The Chase (Live Test 3)

The Hook (Live Test 4)

The Technician (Live Test 5)


Views: 77

Tags: Car Marketing, Car advertising, Car video, Claude van Damme, Epic Split, Redefine the Ordinary, Youtube Video


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