Jean-Claude Van Damme is probably a name you have not heard in a long time prior to last month. If you are not one of the nearly 62 million people that have watched the commercial by Volvo on YouTube you can check it out here:
Yes, it is awesome. Yes, it went viral virtually overnight. One big question remains, and that is, "Is Volvo going to end up selling a lot more Volvo FM trucks because of this video?"
The video is being shared across social media nonstop and it has been featured on nearly every major TV and online media outlet. It may have even attracted more attention and buzz than Volvo originally anticipated. While all of the buzz is great for brand awareness, do you think that the social media audience that is being exposed to it is really in the market for a Volvo FM truck?
Maybe Volvo wanted to just secretly attempt to brainwash consumers by having them constantly repeat their name, as the question, "Have you seen that Volvo commercial with Jean-Claude Van Damme?" has definitely been asked by millions.
Let's take Jean-Claude Van Damme out of the picture for a minute and replace him with a super flexible Yoga enthusiast who would be willing to be hooked up to safety wires and give it a try. Let's also image that they nailed the take in one shot and launched the commercial. It would have been "cool" but not nearly 62 million views and climbing cool.
The real winner here is Jean-Claude Van Damme and quite possibly a long list of 90's era celebrities who are now waiting for their phone to ring.
Companies are always looking for creative content marketing and video marketing opportunities. There is most definitely meetings going on right now brainstorming the next viral video designed to generate an insane amount of brand awareness. In an effort to get their creative juices flowing here are some possibilities:
Allstate Insurance + Jaleel White: Who can forget Steve Urkel from the television sitcom "Family Matters" that aired throughout the 90's. He is one of those TV characters that you will never forget.
Imagine a car being rear ended and the camera pans over and focuses in on the driver side window of the offending car. Down rolls the window and there is Urkel as he lets out the famous, "Did I do that?" line. Pure viral gold. You are welcome Allstate.
Match.com + Dustin Diamond: Saved by the Bell could quite possibly be one of the best TV shows ever created. If you were a kid in the early 90's then you know very well who Samuel "Screech" Powers is, and who better to pitch an online dating site than him.
Picture the camera zoomed in on Dustin Diamond as he explains how great match.com is. He explains how the site is amazing and that it helped him meet the love of his life. After the pitch, the camera fades out and reveals a woman sitting next to him. None other than Lark Voorhies. Any "Saved by the Bell" fan will understand this. Match, if you are listening, get on this. Screech and Lisa Turtle can do wonders for you.
[Insert Company Name] + the Baywatch Cast: Baywatch is without a doubt the most successful television program in history. It is probably safe to say that it is still #1 in some remote country to this day. Know what sells? Sex. What do you get when you combine the cast of Baywatch? A sexplosion. (why isn't this word in the dictionary?)
You could take Pam Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, Gina Lee Nolin, Nicole Eggert, Carmen Electra, and Traci Bingham and film a commercial for any product geared to the male audience and it will go viral. It will also result in record breaking sales for the company that jumps on this idea.
Have a company that needs to appeal to the women as well? Not a problem! Call David Hasselhoff and Jeremy Jackson and give them directions to the production set. The Hoff can sell anything, just ask Cumberland Farms! Jeremy has been involved in the fitness industry for years and is featured on this month's cover of Iron Man magazine.
Well done Volvo. You created an overnight buzz and got every media outlet to talk about your company. Isn't that what marketing is all about? They nailed it.
Who will be the next company to step up and create the next viral masterpiece? Share your predictions in the comments below!