Volvo’s Epic Truck Ad Wins

Jessica Payne

If you’re not yet part of the 6 million plus who have seen the “epic” Jean-Claude Van Damme Volvo Trucks ad, then take a moment to view this little gem. Chances are, this will be one of the most talked about ads of the year. The video features the once famed “Muscles from Brussels” actor known for physical fitness doing his trademark split perched atop two backwards moving Volvo Trucks.

Why this video matters:

When Volvo Trucks wanted to demonstrate the stability of their dynamic steering, they could have gone out with a predictable, B2B trade push that would have no doubt garnered customers and some press. But they chose to do this. Whether you work for a major consumer brand or deep within a B2B industry, remember the best stories show, not tell.

Think about the audience, age and demographic of potential Volvo Truck buyers. You’re not looking for a recent grad or tech junky. You’re looking for logistics suppliers, supply chain analysts, movers and the like – but most importantly, the decision makers at those organizations. This is why Jean-Claude Van Damme, rather than Katy Perry, makes perfect sense. Somebody in Volvo’s ad department got this early on and gem of an idea was born.

This ad symbolizes a pivot in PR/Marketing right now, emphasizing less churn on content for the sake of content, but smarter storytelling, something I call the impactful storytelling mandate. Sure, stunting helps but think about how memorable this ad will be outside of the supply chain sphere. It’s a brilliant play by Volvo Trucks and a point scored for B2B marketing-- not just for its delivery and success, but also the bar it raises for other marketing teams to get more creative and take more risks.

Will this sell more trucks? Probably. But think about what it’s done for the Volvo Trucks going forward? People buy into an organization for many different reasons. Those not considering Volvo Trucks for its dynamic steering may simply do so now because of the reach of this video, more than any conventional ad effort would have done. More importantly, what will they do next? The reason this ad worked in the first place is because smart strategy took place well before the 11th hour. However, the ability for that same team to be agile now, and capitalize on the surging popularity of the ad, will tell an even stronger story.

As someone who grew up in the 80’s, it’s refreshing to see a familiar face from way back shock and awe the way he used to and by doing what he does best.

Have you seen the Volvo Trucks ad? What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet @jpaynebu

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