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Ultra Tune’s rubber-clad models get the celebrity treatment with Hollywood action man

Controversy-courting advertiser Ultra Tune has teamed its ‘rubber models’ with one of Hollywood’s biggest action stars in a commercial shot this week in Melbourne.

Ultra Tune Van DammeThe advertiser, which has appeared regularly in Advertising Standards Board reports with complaints about its ads featuring the rubber-clad, pouting models, has hired action star Jean-Claude Van Damme to star in its latest campaign.

It’s the first time the action star has appeared in an Australian commercial, having starred already in one of the most viewed commercials of all time, Volvo Trucks’ Epic Split, which has 84 million views.

Shooting took place in Melbourne with the final ad set to be released in the new year.

Ultra Tune business development manager, Rod Cedaro, said the company had been thinking about recruiting Van Damme for more than a year before the opportunity arose.

“I think there has always been  a concerted effort to build the momentum of the campaign,” Cedaro told Mumbrella.

“Real Estate.com was very successful using Arnold Schwarzenegger and we believe Jean-Claude will do something similar for us. Speaking with the director, this is not going to be an ad, it’s almost a movie trailer from Hollywood.”

Cedaro dismissed complaints about previous ads in the series on grounds of sexism or promoting dangerous driving.

An ad featuring the two models in skin-tight rubber suits and the tagline ‘we’re into rubber’ was the most complained about ad in the first half of 2016, attracting 418 complaints to the advertising watchdog (the complaint was dismissed).

“In the political society we live in, this is tongue in cheek,” Cedaro said.

He noted that the campaign, which ran during the Australian Open Tennis, doubled tyre sales.

In the ad, created by Melbourne’s 500 Digital Media and directed by Shannon Young, Van Damme rescues the two models, Parnia Porsche and Laura Lydall, from a perilous situation, but Cedaro said the ad had been written so the models were “always in control”.

Previous ads in the series have seen the models stranded on a train line, rescued from a car teetering on a cliff edge and, more recently, trapped in a car wash.

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