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Volkswagen Shows Its Super Bowl Commercial

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On: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 4:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Shows Its Super Bowl Commercial

If there's one thing cuter than an imaginative kid, it's a big, furry dog. After all, that imaginative little kid is going to grow into a jaded, entitled teenager in just a few years. The family dog, on the other hand, is your best friend for life.

Volkswagen uses this wisdom in transitioning from last year's acclaimed "The Force" Super Bowl commercial to this year's ad.

In a bit of a twist, "The Dog Strikes Back" commercial departs from the Star Wars theme of "The Force" in favor of a cute dog. In a teaser that it called "The Bark Side," Volkswagen showed a series of dogs barking out Star Wars' "Imperial March." That led many to believe that Volkswagen would continue its Star Wars theme, but instead it focused on a canine theme.

Of course, there's a little surprise at the end that really helps to solidify both aspects. I won't ruin it, since it's the best part of the new commercial, in my opinion. You can check it out in the extended 75-second teaser below.

Most of the commercial is a bit disappointing. It's a fun commercial with a cute, loveable dog, but it just doesn't feel quite as original as last year's. It reminds me a bit of this commercial for Travelers Insurance, only instead of obsessing about the security of his possessions, VW's dog is obsessing about his weigh in order to compete with the new Beetle.

Also, part of what made "The Force" so endearing was the sentimental aspect - it played very true to reality. Everyone has had a child and/or been a child and could relate. A dog getting in shape to compete with a car doesn't have any of that real, sentimental feel and just plays like a creative but goofy idea thought up by an advertising suit.

I do like the surprise ending, though, and it appears that at least part of that ending will be in the Super Bowl commercial (the dog segment runs about 45 seconds and the commercial will be 60).

I've had about enough of writing free advertising for car company's ad campaigns (though the Super Bowl ads have been fun to follow), so if you're interested in VW's obligatory social media follow-up campaign, yada, yada, you can read more in the press release below.

Watch the video and decide: Is this one equal to, better than or not as good as last year's "The Force". Do you think VW will earn the same accolades for this spot?


Volkswagen of America, Inc. revealed its new commercial today on its YouTube® channel. Viewers can catch a sneak peek of a special, extended 75-second spot online, with the 60-second version of the ad running in the second quarter of the Big Game. This is the third consecutive year that Volkswagen has advertised on Game Day.

"This is a perfect opportunity for Volkswagen to celebrate with the fans that have made 2011 such a record-setting year for the company," said Tim Mahoney, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "This year's commercial will build on Volkswagen's ability to tell human stories simply while continuing to build on the brand's momentum in the year ahead."

Volkswagen's 2012 Game Day commercial, "The Dog Strikes Back," features a story of an adorable dog named Bolt who is inspired to whip himself into shape by the power and performance of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. The unexpected final moments are a sly wink toward the Star WarsTM theme of Volkswagen's 2011 Game Day commercial "The Force," which became a pop culture phenomenon and has nearly 50 million views on YouTube to date. The theme of the commercial is "Back. And better than ever," which illustrates the success and momentum that the Volkswagen brand is enjoying in the U.S.

Volkswagen's 2012 Game Day campaign kicked off with a teaser distributed in mid-January, entitled "The Bark Side," featuring a choir of dogs barking along to Star Wars' "Imperial March". The teaser quickly became an Internet sensation, garnering over ten million views to date on YouTube. The "Imperial March" is the same John Williams' composition used last year in "The Force."

Following the success of last year's advertisement, Volkswagen and Deutsch LA teamed up with Lucasfilm again to end the latest spot with a surprise twist. The final 15 seconds take place in the iconic Cantina introduced in Star Wars Episode IV, complete with a special appearance by none other than Darth Vader.

"We believe this spot underscores the Volkswagen brand's unmatched advertising legacy. It manages to highlight the redesign and performance of the Beetle with the lighthearted touches that viewers expect from the VW brand," said Mike Sheldon, CEO, Deutsch LA, Volkswagen's creative Agency of Record.

The new ad is part of a multi-faceted campaign for the Big Game, featuring digital and social media activations such as a takeover of ESPN mobile and the YouTube homepage. In mid-January, Volkswagen launched a "Big Game" tab on Facebook that serves as a one-stop shop for all things related to the game, including The Bark Side teaser, the early online release of the ad, an "Intergalactic Invite" allowing users to send Star Wars themed party e-vites to friends for the Big Game, and more.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

"VW", "Volkswagen", all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG.

Lucasfilm, STAR WARSTM and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.



Sami18 | 10:00AM (Mon, Feb 6, 2012)

This commercial was funny but they could have done a little better.


Stephy21 | 10:08AM (Mon, Feb 6, 2012)

i liked this commercial and thought it was great alot better than some of the ones i seen last night.

  • Stephy21

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