It’s time again for one of sport’s most anticipated events, the Super Bowl. While the New York Giants and the New England Patriots face off, I will be spending more time watching commercials than the actual game. By the end of the night everyone will have picked their favorite commercials, which will undoubtedly be discussed at length while standing around the office coffee machine Monday morning.
This year, one company decided to take advertising to the next level – with an ad to promote an ad. Volkswagen debuted a 60-second Super Bowl teaser, “The Bark Side,” on YouTube and ABC, featuring a variety of dogs barking a canine rendition of “The Imperial March.” Or, to those who are not huge Star Wars fans, Darth Vader’s theme. You may remember that Volkswagen used the same song in last year’s Super Bowl hit, “The Force,” featuring a pint-sized Darth Vader determined to mentally move his family’s car.
So, all this to sell a few cars? Nope. According to Mark Hunter, chief creative officer for Deutsch, the agency that designed the commercial, Volkswagen was one of the only brands to pre-release its Super Bowl ad last year, coming out ahead of other brands as a fan favorite. So this year’s pre-ad was released as a way to continue to set media trends, and it has done just that. Within the first 24
hours of its launch, “The Bark Side” surpassed 1.6 million views. Within the same time frame last year, “The Force” earned around 1.1 million hits.
Yes, they may have won me and 1.6 million viewers over with Star Wars dogs, but let’s see if their gameday commercial can pack the same punch.