Van Damme clip adds ‘epic’ value to Volvo

Van Damme clip adds 'epic' value to Volvo
Jean-Claude Van Damme performs his 'epic split' between two Volvo trucks. Screenshot: YouTube
An ad series by Volvo, which included Jean Claude Van Damme performing a set of "epic splits" while balanced on two reversing trucks, has proved a whirlwind commercial success for the Swedish company.
The set of six videos, which cost between 20-30 million kronor ($3-4.7 million) to produce, raked in an estimated 1.1 billion kronor ($170 million), reported the Dagens Industri newspaper on Tuesday.
Since the Van Damme advert was released in mid-November last year, it has been viewed almost 70 million times on YouTube, and has already been ranked as the most watched automotive commercial on YouTube ever.
See Van Damme in action:


"If we look at the total effect, our media value is clearly bigger than the 1.1 billion kronor we pulled in," Per Nilsson, head of media relations for Volvo Trucks, told the Dagens Industri newspaper. "We haven't counted the copies on YouTube, for example."
Indeed, since the Belgian action hero stretched his legs to the haunting sounds of Enya, parodies have flooded in from around the world. One saw the mayor of Höganäs, a small Swedish coastal town, performing his own version of the stunt on two utility vehicles. Others saw Italian grocers on three-wheel vegetable cars and even ice skaters reversing on ice.
See the mayor's own splits:
Other ads in Volvo Trucks' series saw a hamster driving a truck up a hill and the president of the company standing on a dangling truck over the waters of Gothenburg.

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