When you’re creating viral marketing videos, you obviously hope that they’re going to take off and fly. But nobody at Volvo Trucks could have guessed at the success of the Epic Split. Just four weeks after launch, The Epic Split and Jean Claude Van Damme had become the most watched automotive commercial on YouTube ever with 68,000,000 views.
“The response is quite overwhelming. Sure, we were hoping for a success, but we didn’t expect it to be this big or come this fast. After all, ‘The Epic Split’ is a truck commercial,” says Per Nilsson, PR Director for the Volvo Trucks brand.
It’s the perfect combination of a star just at that right moment in their career combined with one of those “Did he, didn’t he?” and ‘Surely it’s CGI” discussions. Scroll down to find out how.
Some statistics and approximation from Be On, AOL Networks’ branded video syndication business who distributed the campaign
‘The Epic Split’ and the story about it has now :
• been shared over 6 million times on social networks.
• over 10 million impressions on Google.com.
• received extensive media coverage from all over the world: the commercial has been the subject of approximately 20,000 editorial pieces online so far.
• an estimated earned media value of £59 million.
How was it done? Well, no it wasn’t CGI. Yes, Jean Claud Van Damme really did do it. Shot at down in Spain on a closed airfield runway, Van Damme had safety measures attached and two plates on the mirrors for him to stand on. But that split that he made is own trademark all those years ago really was performed for real, standing on top of two Volvo truck mirrors, reversing down a runway….