In a crowded field of Super Bowl ads for the car companies, Volkswagen has scored early with a commercial attracting scores of viewers before it even airs during the game Sunday.
The ad features a little boy dressed as Darth Vader frustrated that his attempts to use "The Force" on his dog, his sister's doll, and throughout his home continually fall flat.
Then when his dad pulls his new VW Passat in the driveway, Darth Vader runs past his dad and tries to use the force on the Passat which his father shut down before going inside the house. I won't ruin the end of the commercial, but it's fair to say the payoff at the end works.
See for yourself.
So far more than 5 million people have watched VW's "The Force" on YouTube.
Why is it a hit? Because it is clever, original and unlike the majority of car ads which tell you about a car or truck, but rarely leave a strong lasting impression. And for VW, the ad couldn't come at a better time. The German automaker is trying to re-assert itself in the U.S.—again.
It seems like a broken record with VW and its U.S. sales. After the Beetle and Microbus became iconic figures in the sixties and early seventies, VW followed that up with 30 years of inconsistency in the U.S. sure, the Jetta and Passat have been steady performers. But other than those, VW has had a lot of misses. The Phaeton is a perfect example.
Now, with a new plant close to opening in Tennessee, VW is once again getting serious about building cars and SUV's Americans want.
There is also greater focus on staying engaged with the American car buyer, something VW has struggled to do. Which is interesting because VW has a strong track record of putting out memorable ads in the U.S. Unfortunately, the ads have been more memorable than VW's product line.
Perhaps that will now change, thanks to "The Force."
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