Over the past few months, Volvo has been promoting its trucks with a stunt campaign that’s run the gamut from the president of its truck division dangling from a crane 65 feet over a Swedish port, to seeing if a hamster can drive a 15-ton truck up a dangerous, snaking quarry road.
This time the carmaker decided to go epic. In “The Epic Split,” Jean-Claude Van Damme stands straddling two giant trucks, traveling backwards, on a closed runway. The Muscles from Brussels deadeyes the camera as his voiceover gives a nod to his struggles and hints at what’s to come.
“I’ve had my ups and downs. My fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds. That’s what made me what I am today. Now I stand here before you. What you see is a body crafted to perfection. A pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics. And a mind-set to master the most epic of splits.”
Director Andreas Nilsson shot the spot in one take, after the production team rehearsed for three days, with just a 15-minute window to catch the morning light. The Volvo team assures us, there are no wires and no CG, just Van Damme doing his thing (they do note that “there were some safety precautions/measures involved, however those installments are not visible in the video”).
The stunt may have been set up to “demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering,” but it also clearly illustrates the ongoing awesome of JCVD.