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Volvo scoops award for viral Van Damme advert

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Volvo scoops award for viral Van Damme advert
Jean-Claude Van Damme performs his 'epic split' between two Volvo trucks. Screenshot: YouTube
10:15 CET+01:00
A viral advertising campaign starring Jean-Claude van Damme performing a set of "epic splits" has won Sweden's Volvo Trucks a top industry award.

The annual Eurobest awards honours the best of the European creative industry. Volvo Trucks scooped six prizes including the prestigious advertiser of the year award at the three-day festival in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

Judges awarded Volvo Trucks the Film Grand Prix award for the Van Damme advert where the Belgian hardman carries out the splits between two reversing trucks. The advert went viral and to date has been viewed over 75 million times on YouTube.

Praising Volvo for their six wins, the chairman of Lions Festivals, which organizes the awards said:

"It adds huge resonance to the fact that Volvo has been presented with the Advertiser of the Year accolade tonight.

"The company's wins have marked its place as a brand that is creatively brave," said Terry Savage. 

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter estimated earlier this year that the Van Damme ad cost in the region of 20-30 million kronor ($3-4.7 million) to produce and that it raked in raked in an estimated 1.1 billion kronor ($170 million). 

"If we look at the total effect, our media value is clearly bigger than the 1.1 billion kronor we pulled in," Per Nilsson told the paper at the time. 

The success of the commercial, created by Gothenburg based ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors, has inspired a number of parodies including the mayor of the small of Swedish town of Höganäs trying to copy Van Damme's efforts.

A number of other Swedish advertising agencies won awards at the ceremony but it was UK companies who claimed the most trophies with 75 followed by Germany and France.  

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