Volkswagen’s game day commercial bowls over Star Wars cantina

Movies, Television

Mos Eisley Spaceport: You will never find a more wretched hive of sensitive Sith Lords and Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial critics.

We now have an extended sneak peek at what Super Bowl viewers will see during the second quarter of Sunday’s big game. This comes more than a week after a teaser featuring a chorus of canine cosplayers barking out Darth Vader’s signature “Imperial March” theme music. Will it strike a chord on an emotional level like last year’s super-cute VW ad spot? You decide:

VOLKSWAGEN REVEALS GAME DAY SPOT

Featuring the iconic 2012 Beetle, Volkswagen returns to the Big Game with 60-second ad

Herndon, VA (February 1, 2012) 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 Wars™ 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.

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About Jayson Peters

Nerdvana's founder and owner. Digital editor, social media director, educator. Lifelong Star Wars fan and Trekker who also worships all things Tolkien and Doctor Who.