Viral marketing huge success for Volvo Trucks

With its latest commercial, ‘The Epic Split’, Volvo Trucks proves that an unconventional take on B2B marketing works. The commercial has spread all over the world and is already after just four weeks the most watched automotive commercial on Youtube ever.

Since the launch of ‘The Epic Split' on Youtube on November 14, the commercial has been viewed more than 59 million times. It has spread through social media and news media, been the subject of thousands of conversations online and offline and even become a phenomenon in itself, spurring spoofs from both celebrities and others.

"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.

Success in numbers

‘The Epic Split' has not only become the most viewed automotive commercial on Youtube ever. The response in the first four weeks can be summarized in numbers.*

‘The Epic Split' and the story about it has:

  • 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 €70 million.

Outsmart - not outspend

Since Autumn 2012, Volvo Trucks has released six entertaining films to showcase innovations in the five new trucks released during the same period. ‘The Epic Split', a film that highlights the precision and stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering, is the biggest success among the films so far.

"The reach is mainly a result of public engagement. We can't outspend our competitors. Instead, we need to outsmart them. Our communication strategy is one part of that," says Per Nilsson.

B2C marketing of a B2B product

The communication strategy itself is part of a larger shift in how Volvo Trucks market their products to a wider audience. Simply put, it is B2C marketing of B2B products.

"Our marketing strategy is based on the insight that also in B2B, individuals make the decisions. Today's trucks are high tech machines, designed to ease the driver's work, safeguard driver, load and surroundings and be as profitable as possible. But for the drivers and hauliers, it is not only factors like these that affect their choices, but also the image of the truck they are driving," says Per Nilsson.

Cost efficient

Marketing material that has an impact on everyone, will also reach more truck drivers and hauliers, Volvo Trucks resonates. And it works.

"Our own customers refer to these films. But it goes even further - hauliers using our trucks get comments from their customers - transport buyers - about the films," Per Nilsson says.

"Our ambition is that the engagement the film has spurred will drive awareness and demand for our trucks. Through a relatively small media investment, we've got a massive response. Our strategy has proven to be a very smart and cost efficient way to communicate utilizing the new media landscape," says Per Nilsson.

Watch the film on Youtube.

December 11, 2013

For further information, please contact: Per Nilsson, Volvo Trucks, phone +46 31 3233349, e-mail per.nilsson.pr@volvo.com * Statistics and approximation from Be On, AOL Networks' branded video syndication business who distributed the campaign

Jean-Claude Van Damme stands between two Volvo FMs as they drive in reverse, doing his trademark split. image/x-png 879.9 KB
Per Nilsson, PR Director for the Volvo Trucks brand. image/x-png 1.2 MB
Throughout his career, Jean-Claude Van Damme has had to perform some hair-raising stunts – but nothing quite like performing the splits between two moving trucks. image/x-png 940.5 KB

Subscribe to Volvo Trucks press releases

Would you like to be notified by email and/or by mobile phone when Volvo Trucks publishes press releases on this homepage? Please fill in your name, company, e-mail address and/or mobile phone number below.


By ticking the checkbox, you allow Volvo Trucks to save your personal data and use it for purposes related to your query.