Witness Volvo Trucks, years later to earn acclaim with its “Epic Split” ad starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, becoming the first heavy-truck manufacturer to buy a Super Bowl ad.
Volvo Trucks North America described the 30-second buy in Super Bowl XXXII as the centerpiece of a $2.7 million campaign, “the largest in the history of North American trucking.”
“By advertising in the Super Bowl, Volvo Trucks is saying -- in a very big way -- that we have come to win,” President-CEO Marc Gustafson said in a press release several months before the game. Another executive pointed out that owner-operators of big trucks usually stop driving to watch the game, the country’s biggest TV event each year.
The push was the first for Volvo since Carmichael Lynch won the account in 1997, resigning Mack Trucks to do so. Volvo was happy enough the results -- it said “Road Sage” and the surrounding campaign improved the marketer’s place in its category to fourth from sixth -- to do it again the following year for Super Bowl XXXIII (“Arm Pump”).Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.