You might recognize Jean-Claude Van Damme, AKA “The Muscles from Brussels”, from such timeless cinema masterpieces as Timecop and Bloodsport. But this one-minute-twenty-second Volvo advert might just be his opus.
The video opens with Van Damme settled carefully atop the side mirrors of two Volvo trucks as they glide gracefully backwards across a desert track. And as the voiceover rolls, the trucks slowly spread, pulling Mr. Van Damme into one of his iconic splits. The sun rises behind him and the music swells.
So what’s the point of this commercial, other than wowing us with Jean Claude Van Damme and Volvo’s cinematographer?
Well, Volvo Trucks is actually advertising its new Dynamic Steering System. This hybrid hydraulic-electric power steering system provides additional steering force as well as ironing out the feel to reduce the number of corrections the driver needs to make. The idea is to reduce the workload of drivers and offer them more precise steering, both chronic problems for long haul truckers.
Clearly, this steering is working, even if the stunt drivers Volvo lined up are doing a bit more of the heavy lifting in this video.
Why Am I Curious?
Well, for starters, almost 9.4 million views views since Wednesday – that’s enough to get me curious. In addition, Van Damme and Volvo seemed like an unlikely coupling and I did not think it would work but if the initial reaction is any indication, people are loving it and more than once I have read comments along the lines of “if i were to drive a truck, i want that one.”