Volvo hit the Internet jackpot a few weeks ago with the top video ad, which has currently been viewed by more than 40 million people. The video featured actor and martial arts expert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, balancing himself on two moving trucks. As the trucks move backward, Van Damme ended up in a complete split. His flexibility is quite impressive, and it hurt my legs just to watch.
Volvo Truck’s software system engineer, Jan-Inge Svensson, explained that the purpose of the stunt was to display the stability of Volvo steering. “The stability and control are so good that you can reverse a truck over a long distance with very high precision, which is exactly what we’ve had to do in this film. It had to be perfect – right down to the last centimeter.”
Perhaps the authenticity of the stunt is the most impressive, though. Van Damme stood, unsecured, with each foot on a small platform that was built into the trucks’ side mirrors. Volvo confirmed that only the safety lines protecting Van Damme from falling weren’t shown in the film.
And at 53, Van Damme made stretching his legs to full horizontal capacity look effortless.