Without a doubt, Volkswagen’s “The Force” was the winner of the 2011
Super Bowl the ‘big’ game™ advertising contest. I would even go as far to say that, in terms of buzz, the ad was the best ad of 2011 overall.
But, as so often is the case, when business finds a winner they keep going to the well, killing the golden goose, etc.
VW has released a prequel / teaser of their 2012
Super Bowl the ‘big’ game™ effort. Watch it here or embedded below.
It is a clever creative execution. Each time I watch it I notice another detail. Ashamed to admit that I didn’t notice that each of the dogs corresponds to a different Star Wars character until my third viewing. I did get the Vader lab and the greyhound AT-AT immediately. (btw – there’s controversy because VW may have ripped off the greyhound AT-AT idea)
But why serve leftovers? Why center your biggest ad buy of the year on what you did last year which was based on a 35 year old movie?
Encores are nice. But they need to occur right after the show, not at the next performance.
The biggest danger for Volkswagen is that this 2012 ad WILL be successful. And it probably will be considering the reaction from last year and the American public’s insane attachment to canines. The video was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday and already has over 3 million views and counting.
But VW could be like ‘that guy’ who tells a good joke which gets such a good reaction that he repeats the punchline over and over until no one laughs and it creates an uncomfortable atmosphere.
Volkswagen’s 2013 ad may also be Star Wars centric. I see an Ewok or Jar-Jar centric ad in our future. It won’t be long until they’re just producing a Star Wars parody spot each year with little or nothing to do with … you know … VW vehicles.
It happens alot with
Super Bowl the ‘big’ game™ advertising (cavemen, monkeys, burt reynolds, betty white, godaddy girls, etc).
There’s also a huge PR danger that VW has opened themselves up to again with an unintended but sinister connection in these Star Wars spots. Volkswagen was originally founded by a Nazi trade union. George Lucas has said he based the concept and much of the visual imagary of the Empire in Star Wars on Nazi Germany. Volkwagen somewhat avoided mentions of this last year, but someone could make the Nazi connection go viral this year.
I may be wrong. (shocking disclaimer: I have been wrong before.)
Super Bowl the ‘big’ game™ advertising is a different animal that doesn’t correspond to the normal rules. But I say bask in your victory and then go into another battle.
UPDATE: They should have stuck with the barking dogs. The actual Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial stinks.