Ad of the Week: A Well-Oiled Machine - HenkinSchultz Skip to main content

Ad of the Week: A Well-Oiled Machine

Quick survey: Do you like any of the following: A) Astonishing acts of beauty and grace B) Finely-tuned machines (human or otherwise) C) Lush sunsets D) A-list movie stars If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Volvo’s latest TV spot “The Epic Split” was crafted with you in mind. Starring everyone’s favorite Belgian, Jean-Claude Van Damme – more commonly known as “The Muscles from Brussels” – the spot begins with the frame focused tightly on Van Damme’s face. As JCVD dives into his dialogue, the camera beings to pull out, slowly revealing our hero standing atop two Volvo semis traveling in reverse headed towards the sunset. The shot then pans to the side as the trucks move slowly away from each other, allowing JCVD to transition into the splits that propelled him to international fame and notoriety, displaying the pristine stability and precision of Volvo’s latest steering technology. Three questions immediately arise following a viewing of this commercial: 1) Is this real? (Yes) 2) Do I really need a Volvo semi? (You do now) 3) Did the trucks moving force JCVD into the splits, or did JCVD’s splits force the trucks to separate? (up for debate – but I think we all know the answer to this one) Like many of his movies, the spot will leave you with your jaw on the floor as Lichtenstein-esque word bubbles surround you proclaiming “WOW!”, “WHAT?!” and “YIKES!” Even more impressive than the physical feat at hand is what the spot accomplishes – getting semi-trucks on the tip of the general public’s tongue. I could go on and on about how perfect this commercial is – from the beautiful cinematography, to the expert casting decision, to the perfect soundtrack – but in the end a simple math equation sums it up far more succinctly than I ever could: (JCVD + fingerless leather gloves) x (Enya + picture-perfect sunset) = marketing gold In the featured song, Enya asks “who can say where the road goes?” Fortunately for us, Volvo has the answer: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Sidenote Top three JCVD Movies of all time (not up for debate): 1) Street Fighter 2) Bloodsport 3) Universal Soldier