BY GERRY MILES
It’s one thing to stand behind your product, but it’s another to stand on it. And there’s a “hook” to the commercial…it’s 20 meters up over Gothenburg Harbor. In the air.
That’s what Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks, did to show off the strength of the FMX truck’s tow hook on Gothenburg, Sweden.
“Well, I have to admit I had butterflies in my tummy and I certainly did wonder more than once about what I’d let myself in for. I’m no mountain-climber and I don’t like heights. But I’d promised to do the stunt so I couldn’t very well back out,” says Claes Nilsson.
The stunt included nearly 2 hours standing on a Volvo FMX construction truck dangling over Gothenburg harbour.
“Of course there were many retakes and filming is a time-consuming process. It was fairly cold — about 8 degrees above zero — and the wind was blowing about 10 metres a second, so my hands got pretty cold after a while. But it all went very well. Safety was 100 per cent all the way, so I was never really afraid,” continues Claes Nilsson.
“The idea behind the film — called “The Hook” — is that we wanted to show that the truck’s front towing hook is dimensioned to handle far greater stresses than those to which it is normally subjected. It’s all about spotlighting the strength and quality of our construction trucks. And you can’t do that more clearly than by hoisting the 15 ton truck up into the air via its own towing hook,” explains Claes Nilsson.
“The difficulty is to shoot the entire film in one take from a helicopter. I’m really impressed by Claes Nilsson, who stayed cool and focused throughout the two hours while hanging 20 meters up in the air. I tried it myself, but just for 15 minutes. It was pretty scary I can tell you,” says Filip Nilsson of Folke Film, who directed the film.
Volvo Trucks previously featured their trucks in a world class stunt called “The Ballerina Stunt” that features Faith Dickey walking a wire between two Volvo trucks along a highway in Croatia. It gives new meaning to the term backbone and fearless. Volvo says 7 million people have seen it on YouTube. Click on the link above to watch the spell-binding brief.
“Since then we’ve introduced another four truck models. Our plan is to subject them to a variety of tests in the upcoming months, all with the aim of demonstrating the improved characteristics of each model. These are not any run-of-the-mill tests we’re doing — I can assure you that nobody in the truck world has ever done anything like this before,” concludes Claes Nilsson.