It's almost a decade since Volvo Trucks's "Epic Split" ad, featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme and a pair of trucks, went viral (and subsequently won a Cannes Grand Prix for Effectiveness.)
Since then, the advertiser and its agency Forsman & Bodenfors have paired up for some fun stunts in its ongoing "Live Tests" campaign but have never quite recreated that same magic. But it seems they are trying again, with a hilarious new film that depicts a "love story" between two large trucks.
Fuel efficiency and driving pleasure are seen as two opposites among truck drivers, with many believing you can’t have both. Volvo wanted to get across the message that with its Volvo FH with I-Save, "fun meets efficiency." So, it has two trucks, marked "fun" and "efficiency," living out their epic romance on the highway. In a synchronized routine, they touch bumpers, fly through the air and even get down to some distinctly pornographic looking stuff; if trucks did a "Dirty Dancing" routine, this would be it.
The film, directed by Daniel Warwick, was shot in Croatia and the agency assures us that "production was carried out by professionals...both behind the wheel and in front of the computer."
“The only way we could make this happen was together with Volvo drivers Johan Brorsson and Mikael Rosell, both of Live test series fame – as well as a small army of VFX artists. A lot was done in-camera, but some things were, believe it or not, added in post production, said Karolina Groop, creative at Forsman & Bodenfors, in a statement. "And just like with human love, there’s a blurry line between reality and fantasy. What’s real and what’s not?”
"The hardest part of the shoot was managing the actors," quipped fellow creative Lars Jansson. "Attraction is not something you can force and since it was the first time the trucks met, we didn’t know if they would hit it off or if there would just be awkward silence. Luckily, it was love at first sight and as far as we know they are still a thing.”
The film is running globally online, starting today.
"We are very proud of the I-Save features and that we can offer the best product on the market when it comes to driving experience and fuel efficiency," said Agneta Malmcrona, marketing vommunications manager at Volvo Trucks. "Therefore, we wanted to give those features the attention they deserve. We always strive to do category-breaking work in a new and entertaining way and the creative solution this time fits both the product and the times we live in. Isn’t a little love what the world needs right now? ”