Before I start I’d just like to know how many of you have actually seen star wars or at least heard of it? Okay, well most likely if you are around my age you probably saw it when you were younger, and maybe even bought a light saber or two. I definitely was one of those kids. So when I saw this commercial, I definitely felt like I could relate to it and it brought back some memories of me running around the house and pretty much terrorizing everybody as a little kid with my star wars gear. So now I’ll show you the commercial, then I can talk about it a little bit more when it’s done (Show Commercial)
Okay so, the initial point of this commercial was to advertise the 2012 Volkswagen Passat, and it aired during the 2011 Super Bowl. Some thing’s I definitely liked about it was that I liked how Volkswagen took the term “The Force” from star wars and used it in relation to a car. Normally when you think of automobiles you may think strength, as well as speed, and when you think “The force” as in something Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker might use from star wars you may think energy or power. So when they combined this theme together, I felt like psychologically they were linking the word force to the Passat itself, and what it has to offer. So I felt they integrated it well.
On other note, something else I felt was pretty clever was, while the audience was watching the commercial. You’re still shown the car. You get a view of its exterior, interior, even some of its features like the navigation inside. And even towards the end of the commercial, you get to see the auto start key that the dad is holding. So subconsciously, they have you thinking about the car for the moment that it’s on the screen. As far as effectiveness of this commercial goes, a couple days before the commercial was going to be shown for the Super bowl, Volkswagen leaked it on social site like YouTube and Facebook, just to see what kind of response they’d get.
And when it got to the night before super bowl it hit around 14 million views. The commercial then officially aired the next day, but because Volkswagen used the internet as a source of advertisement, and it received a good response, they were able to actually save money by cutting down the airing time from one minute to 30 seconds. Today the commercial, has approximately 55 million hits. I do think Volkswagen used corporate branding as well as the initial selling of the product, considering it’s not just a Passat but it’s a Volkswagen Passat, and at the end of the commercial they make sure the trade marked it with their symbol and slogan.
For their target audience, I would say they hit multiple audiences with this commercial whether its family, star wars fans, super bowl fans, but I’m guessing their direct target may have been men, and probably men who grew up watching star wars and then now have a family. I’m not entirely sure if I could say the commercial could go global, even though Volkswagens a German brand, I’m not sure how many cultures actually know what star wars is. So maybe it hit just on a national level.
Overall I think the commercial was pretty successful, and Volkswagen obviously know s this considering this year they decided to stick with the star wars theme in their “The Dog Strikes back” commercial and its postlude “The Bark Side” . I think they definitely took a risk using this theme, but it paid off in the long run.