The value of going viral
I doubt Van-Damme starred in the commercial for free (he might have. I don’t know), but at this point he probably owes Volvo Trucks more than they ever owed him. This is the most successful production he’s starred in since the early 90s. Let’s not forget that I thought he was dead.
Using social media in your marketing strategy is becoming more and more fundamental. It’s practically mandatory, and the upside is near-limitless as we’re seeing here. But a Facebook post with your “special of the day” or your address and hours isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to strive to become an Internet legend. Stop thinking of your followers as numbers and strive to entertain them.
You can have 20,000 Twitter or Facebook followers but if you’re not engaging them they are worthless to your company, and you are worthless to them. I’d rather have 1,000 followers with 50 percent engagement than 2,000 followers with 20 percent engagement. The size of the audience isn’t the important thing; it’s how many are tuned in to what you’re saying.
Access to someone like Van-Damme isn’t necessary. I think he’s part of what made this video so successful, but not the only part – and likely not the biggest part. The video concept itself is a perfect storm of weird, dangerous and interesting, which is a recipe for success in just about anything.
I have no idea how many trucks Volvo has sold or will sell as a result of this video, but I doubt it will be a lot. I would imagine that of the 64 million-plus viewers, a small sliver of those are actually truck drivers.
However, what they have done is create band awareness of cult-like proportions, which has already come back to them 93 million fold.