Tuesday, November 19

Volvo Epic Split

I've written a lot lately about "prank-vertising" and the rise of the stunt as a way to attract consumer attention.  It's a tactic of high risk because it may alienate the viewer or potentially bore the viewer.  But not if it's strategically aligned with the brand, at least in my book.

Here's a very recent "stunt" caught on advertising film that I think is a perfect example of strategic alignment, not only between the stunt and the brand's core positioning, but also with the talent they used to pull off the stunt and tell the story.

If you listen hard to the messaging, you'll see what I mean.  So well written!  Makes me want to buy a Volvo truck!

It's a great strategic stunt that is not only bringing the core functional and emotional benefits of Volvo to light, but also revitalizing "celebrity" brand for what he too was once known for.  Brilliant.

Have you seen another truck (or celebrity for that matter) differentiate itself so well?

What's your experience?  Jim.


  1. When I see this sort of thing I go into "How did they do it" mode. I watched it a couple of times full-screen, trying to work out if they filmed it going forward, then reversed the film for dramatic effect - which obviously would be 100x easier to do.

    Sadly, though I can see where the drivers are looking, I can't tell if they are looking in their mirrors, or watching the white marker lines ahead of themselves.

    I guess it really doesn't matter, because the only people who this ad would really matter to are truck drivers and fleet managers, and they would know for sure if the stunt was possible, or if it was 'faked' going forward... still no mean feat.

    Well, I'm not in the market for a new truck any time soon, but there's some brand awareness also, so maybe it's worked on me.

    By the way, there is a typo in your headline... Volve instead of Volvo... probably the reason why they've not found your post yet and sent you a free car!

  2. Thanks for the perspective and for catching the typo! Jim.

  3. The stunt was not faked, the trucks really are driving backwards. One is a box truck, the other a semi. It's to highlight Volvo's new "backing up in a straight line" technology.