What Makes Volvo's #EpicSplit So Darn Epic?

Unless you’ve been living under a Volvo the past week, you’ve no doubt seen the auto manufacturer’s recent viral video, Epic Split.epicsplit

The short video features seasoned martial arts film star Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two (backwards!) moving trucks and has so far earned over 50 million hits on YouTube.

It’s been an Internet sensation, to say the least, but honestly, we’ve seen Van Damme do the splits before. As impressive as his splits skills are (especially for someone who is 53 years old) this is Van Damme well past his prime. So why do we care so much now?

I’m so glad you asked 🙂

Consider the video’s opening shot. We start in on extreme close-up on Van Damme’s weathered face. This is not the face of a media darling. Van Damme has had some serious controversies in his past and he hasn’t always been the most likeable. His voiceover acknowledges that. Accepts it. The camera pulls back, and like a phoenix rising from its proverbial ashes , Van Damme is back… splittier than ever.

And that’s why the video rocks: it’s not just about stunts, or amazing auto engineering, or beautiful sunsets, or movie careers… it’s about the triumph of the human spirit. And who doesn’t want to resonate with that?

So the next time you’re creating content for your YouTube channel (or Facebook or Twitter or blog…) and you want to create something that catches on (maybe even go viral), think beyond what’s immediately obvious. How does your content fit into a greater picture? What universal message do you have to share that your followers are dying to hear today? How can you strike an emotional chord with your audience? If you can figure that out, you’ve gone from creating good content to great content.

Being epic is certainly not so easy (otherwise I’d do it every week). But it’s possible.

In case you haven’t seen the Epic Split video (or in case you want to see it again) here it is on YouTube:


Have a great week. Be epic!

– Nishi


  1. McGuigan, Patti on November 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I must have been “living under a Volvo”.. as I missed the “Epic Split” last week!
    It is great as you say!
    Thx for that!

  2. Nishi on November 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Aaah, you must have been working too hard 🙂 Thanks for reading!!