Starring in this risky spot for Volvo Trucks might give Roland Svensson a big head. Luckily, the engineer's head measured only 10 inches high when he was buried up to his neck in the sand and let a Volvo FMX truck, which has 12 inches of space between the ground and its undercarriage, drive over him. (Volvo swears the stunt is real, but did tell the Huffington Post that some "Hollywood editing" was employed for visual enhancement.)
I prefer this brand of stuntvertising to the more mean-spirited, pseudo-reality pranks. The enthusiastic participation of the Volvo employees is more compelling than just surprising and upsetting unsuspecting people on the street or in offices. Plus, this latest stunt, while outlandish, does illustrate an actual design feature of the truck—its high-clearance suspension system, which the spot's star helped to develop. Conversely, most prankvertising campaigns serve up shocks and little else.
This particular bit of automotive daredevilry makes Svensson's boss, Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson—who delivered a sales pitch while standing on an FMX suspended high above a harbor—look like a spineless wimp by comparison. Man up, Claes—take some real risks!
Meanwhile, in a different video, also posted below, Charlie the hamster demonstrates the easy handling of Volvo's truck by actually steering one of the vehicles on a dangerously twisty Spanish quarry road. The little guy's understandably a bit fuzzy on the concept, so he's guided by a driver who dangles a carrot into his specially designed hamster wheel, which is attached to the truck's steering wheel.
Suck it, Kia hamsters!