As a writer, I have been waiting years for the perfect moment to finally lay text to screen about my childhood hero, Jean-Claude Van Damn. This time has now come, and what better way to ride the coat tails of a viral video than to pay homage to the great man himself whilst showing a couple of the behind the scenes clips from his recent epic performance between two Volvo trucks.
A whole generation of young men were shaped by his films in a way not all of us feel totally comfortable explaining. While our mothers chuckled at the regular appearance of his naked butt our fathers uttered sentances like, “he certainly has very good physical conditioning”. All the while us naive and impressionable young men where left completely unaware that what we were watching was marketing to a set of sexual preferences much wider than we new existed. This even to the extent that Van Dammes magnum opus “Double Impact” contained two of him of which each was directly aimed at very separate markets. One for men, and one for women….. and men.
But JCVD has come of age in recent years gaining the respect of some credible actors and directors. His performance in JCVD in which he played a semi-fictionalised version of him self showed the real side of an ageing star and was highly regarded. His crows feet became as an iconic part of his make up as the bump on his head and the regular appearance of his butt. Whilst other action stars like Sly have kinda become MJ´s with a better doctor, JCVD has retreated slightly whilst gaining a little bit of the panache one only can associate with someone that once carried the nick name, “the muscles from Brussels”.
So when I see Volvo using the man himself doing the “epic splits” between two volvo trucks in reverse to kick start a viral marketing campaign, I suspect that they are onto the same thing that I have just explained. After all, had we seen Stallone, Arnold, Norris or Lundgren doing some kind of trick on a truck, we would have laughed it of as all to plastic. Jean-Claude Van Damme however does it in style.
– Behind the scenes clips of the commercial (below)
– Behind the scenes clips of the commercial continued (below)