If you only watch one YouTube video today, make it this one.
You might recognize Jean-Claude Van Damme, AKA “The Muscles from Brussels”, from such timeless cinema masterpieces as Timecop and Bloodsport. But this one-minute-twenty-second Volvo advert might just be his opus.
The video opens with Van Damme settled carefully atop the side mirrors of two Volvo trucks as they glide gracefully backwards across a desert track. And as the voiceover rolls, the trucks slowly spread, pulling Mr. Van Damme into one of his iconic splits. The sun rises behind him and the music swells.
I have heard of spreading your legs for the sake of advertisement, but I never knew it could be so ‘Damme’ classy … I am so sorry, I had to.
So what’s the point of this commercial, other than wowing us with Jean Claude Van Damme and Volvo’s cinematographer?
Well, Volvo Trucks is actually advertising its new Dynamic Steering System. This hybrid hydraulic-electric power steering system provides additional steering force as well as ironing out the feel to reduce the number of corrections the driver needs to make. This, to me, sounds a bit like the new steer-by-wire electronic steering system from Infiniti.
The idea is to reduce the workload of drivers and offer them more precise steering, both chronic problems for long haul truckers.
Clearly, this steering is working, even if the stunt drivers Volvo lined up are doing a bit more of the heavy lifting in this video.
Still, all I can say is well done, folks. I don’t even have a trucking license and I want one of Volvo’s fine vehicles. I, however, don’t want a Belgian straddling my big-rig. Sorry, Jean-Claude.
Now what I really want to see is Ron Burgundy try and pull off the splits between a couple of Dodge Durangos.
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