Last year, Volkswagen treated us with perhaps the best commercial of 2011. Yes, I’m talking about the Darth Vader kid trying to use the Force to start his father’s Passat. Last year’s commercial was so incredibly popular, its YouTube posting has received almost 50 million views.
With that in mind, it only makes sense that Volkswagen keeps with the Star Wars theme, something they already demonstrated a willingness for when the car company dropped “The Bark Side” commercial. You can add another one the pile now that Volkswagen has debuted their “The Dog Strikes Back” offering, which follows the exploits of Bolt as he tries to get in shape enough to chase the new Volkswagen Beetle.
The commercial in question:
As you can see, what starts out as a “aww, that dog is too cute” offering quickly becomes a visit to the Mos Eisley cantina, as the familiar denizens — provided you’ve seen the original Star Wars movie — debate which commercial was better, last year’s with the Darth Vader kid or this year with the dog. When one suggests this year’s version is better, Darth Vader himself shows up to set the record straight via a well-timed Force Choke.
While the commercial was cute — although, it lacks the sweet innocence last year’s had — the fact that Volkswagen was compelled to leak it before this weekend’s Super Bowl brings CNBC scribe Darren Rovell’s query to the forefront — is releasing these kinds of commercials before the Super Bowl a mistake? From Rovell’s perspective:
Think of it this way: If a company believes that it will break through the clutter, and most who have Super Bowl ads do, the value of the ad is worth more if it’s a surprise. And the value of those YouTube hits are worth more as well.
Do you agree with that standpoint? Should advertisers hold their ad copy until the big game is actually on the air? Considering the fact that last year’s awesome Volkswagen/Darth Vader commercial caught everyone by surprise, Rovell might be on to something here.