Star Wars Sequel: VW Strikes Bark

20 Jan

            Volkswagen has done it again.  The same folks that gave us the Beetle and Farfegnugen have collided Das Auto with Star Wars and once again have succeeded in creating a memorable brand experience.

             The venerable VW has just released a pre-quel to its 2012 Super Bowl ad and it successfully uses a pack of dogs to bend the Star Wars meme from its wildly popular and successful 2011 Super Bowl ad.


             The deliciously wonderful ad by VW’s agency Deutsch is no accident.  It’s a smart and highly purposeful means of communication.   It targets a specific audience and asks them to take a specific action.  Here’s the strategy:

  • Target Market Audience:  Speaks to everyone who LOVED the 2011 Darth Vader ad.
  • Desired Response:  SHARE IT and watch the new Super Bowl ad.
  • Competitive Frame:  All other Super Bowl ads.
  • Message Argument:  It’s entertaining.
  • Rationale:  It builds anticipation for the new product ad and reinforces the intangible value of the VW brand.

             It’s clear the creative forces at VW/Deutsch wanted to borrow from the momentum of the most shared advertisement of 2011.   The Passat ad cleverly used two strong replicators in a child and Darth Vader.   They created an emotional force that caused viewers to watch, enjoy, and pass on.


             This time, VW has kept the Star Wars theme but replaced a child with an arguably stronger replicator: dogs.  Will it take off?  Three million YouTube views in the first 24-hours suggest it’s already in another galaxy.   And all of it with no media buy.   If the most valuable commodity on earth is attention, VW is getting it.

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