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World's Most Epic Split Was Carried Out in 2013, Van Damme Used Two Volvo Trucks
If you've never been on a trip to Italy but are considering one, there are two things you should keep in mind when it comes to food. First, don't even think about asking the waiter to bring ketchup for your pizza; that's insulting to an Italian. Second, order a Margherita. It's the simplest pizza you can get but a favorite among the locals. And that proves that keeping things simple goes a long way in life.

World's Most Epic Split Was Carried Out in 2013, Van Damme Used Two Volvo Trucks

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We're not here to give you a culinary tour of the world, though, but there's a reason why we brought up the Pizza Margherita. Seeing that October is autoeovolution's Commercials month, we're browsing through dozens, if not hundreds, of commercials each day.

And we are selecting the best ones to be featured here so that you can enjoy them as well. When an agency is given the task of creating a commercial for a company, there are several things it must take into account.

And for that, questions must be asked, and answers must be provided. Questions such as: "What kind of product or service are we promoting, What is the goal of the commercial, What kind of budget will be allocated for production and ulterior advertising, Where will the commercial be displayed, Who are we communicating with" and the list goes on.

To maximize the results of said commercial, an agency must define answers for every single question. The creatives have to get inside the mind of the audience before and during the campaign itself.

World's Most Epic Split Was Carried Out in 2013, Van Damme Used Two Volvo Trucks
For a company, every action it takes needs to provide an ROI - a return on investment. So if it's going to pour millions of dollars into an advertising campaign, that should bring back tens of millions in return. Otherwise, it will be considered a failure.

Naturally, any agency that is going to get that kind of contract from a corporate enterprise wants to deliver the best possible result. So the client's best interest reigns supreme. Now, we aren't going to talk about false advertising here, but just remember the words of H.G. Wells "Advertising is legalized lying."

We all know the companies that promote their product in a certain way, only for you to discover that things are not as good as they were advertised. So it's no wonder that people won't allow themselves to be easily fooled these days.

We've learned to adapt and recognize false advertising. So the best way of doing things is by being as honest as possible. And also learn from one of the legends of the trade, Leo Burnett: "Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at."

World's Most Epic Split Was Carried Out in 2013, Van Damme Used Two Volvo Trucks
This brings us to the campaign that Volvo Trucks started almost a decade ago. The company hired the Swedish-based agency Forsman & Bodenfors for the job. Thus, the Volvo Live Test series was created. The idea was to keep things simple and honest but, at the same time, to highlight the capabilities of the new Volvo trucks.

To make things memorable, each video was based on a certain challenge. Viral marketing was going to play an important role in how the videos would reach a broad audience.

But if you want someone to start sharing your video, you need to have that wow factor that will trigger such a reaction. And the start was phenomenal, to say the least. Imagine this: two Volvo trucks driving down an unopened highway in Croatia, with a wire connecting them somewhere in the middle.

And then add world record-holding highliner Faith Dickey to the equation. The stunt was pulled off with no CGI, and it had everyone holding onto the edge of their seats. But that video was only an appetizer, and the best was yet to come.

World's Most Epic Split Was Carried Out in 2013, Van Damme Used Two Volvo Trucks
"The Technician" Live Test was launched in September 2013. Part funny, part scary, the video shows a Volvo Trucks technician buried in the desert with only his head above the ground. The point of this commercial was that this man was willing to technically risk his life to showcase the impressive 300 mm ground clearance of the new Volvo truck.

Seeing how complex a machine like this is, you couldn't fit all the information about it in a 40 seconds video, no matter how much you tried. So they kept things simple and invited people to go to the official website for more information. In a way, this was the inception of an idea.

In just under 10 years, this video has racked up almost 5 million views on the official Volvo Trucks YouTube channel alone. But it was about to pale in comparison to the next commercial. "The Hamster Stunt" was filmed in Spain, and most people will immediately dismiss the idea as being insane. But they pulled it off safely.

"This is the ultimate test of the steering system. You will see a hamster steering a truck from the bottom of this quarry to the top." That explains the 11+ million views, doesn't it?

World's Most Epic Split Was Carried Out in 2013, Van Damme Used Two Volvo Trucks
A few years later, Volvo Trucks invited 4-year-old Sophie to guide a truck through an improvised playground by use of remote control. The idea was bonkers, and so was the execution. And the same goes for the test in which the president of Volvo Trucks is suspended in mid-air to showcase, in an effort to showcase just how robust the new truck is.

But you need to see them for yourself to understand why these videos now have over 42 million combined views . The "Flying Passenger" wasn't as impressive, but it did add to the impact of the whole campaign. But the main talking point here is "The Epic Split" featuring Jean Claude Van Damme.

The actor performed an epic split between two Volvo Trucks that were driving in reverse. And he did it in one take. Back in 2013, this was one of the most popular videos released on the video-sharing platform and spawned dozens of parodies.

It's now at over 116 million views and is considered to be one of the most successful automotive-related commercials of all time. It was simple yet insanely effective and effectively insane. In a matter of just two years, it is estimated that the "Live Tests" campaign generated $170 million in revenue for Volvo. That's what we call an amazing ROI!



 
 
 
 
 

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