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Analysis of Volkswagen "the Force"

Essay by   •  March 13, 2012  •  Case Study  •  973 Words (4 Pages)  •  3,133 Views

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This advertisement is explicitly selling the 2012 Volkswagen Passat. Implicitly, it is selling the George Lucas masterminded juggernaut of a brand name, Star Wars. This ad is very well written, as it uses a number of tactics to sell the VW brand. Popular characters, recognizable music and humor all play a big role in this commercial. I feel that it caters to a very broad array of people.

In this ad, there is a little child who is dressed as Darth Vader trying to channel his inner force powers unsuccessfully on a different variety of household objects, pets, etc and not having much success. Eventually, an older male, who I can only assume is the father figure, pulls up in what we later find out to be a brand new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. The kid runs out to the care and ignores his father's attempts to give him a hug. He raises his hand and to his surprise, the car hums to life (Almost spaceship-esque. I'm not sure if it's actually that quiet or just a liberty taken in the commercial.) Inside the house, we see the parents exchange bemused looks and we also find out that the dad did this with his Volkswagen issued keychain.

This ad was featured during the 2011 Super bowl game and reached a very wide audience, with which it was a resounding success. According to the Nielsen Company Television ratings, the 2011 Super Bowl was the most watched television show in all of American history. The was on average a viewership of 110,000,00 people during the game. The YouTube page has over fifty million unique views which makes it the most popular commercial on YouTube. What makes it so popular? No offense to Volkswagen, but I can assure you it's not the actual product being sold, rather, it's the command music of John Williams, the instantly recognizable black shroud of Darth Vader, albeit, in kid form and the force gestures he uses (the raising of the hand to use "the force") All of these signature Star Wars traits help connect with an audience. As a standalone product, sans Star Wars, the VW Jetta would not be as popular. Star Wars was the highest grossing film for about 30 years until unseated by the James Cameron film, Titanic. Star Wars also has been translated into over 40 languages across the world.

On the YouTube page info box, the author of the description boasts of the award winning nature of the advertisement but fails to mention which awards were won. After some research, I discovered that these awards were actually from the Cannes festival of Creativity, which is a festival for the creative communications industry. In the entertainment world, the name Cannes is a big deal so the omission of which awards were won really surprised me. This advertisement also spawned a sequel of sorts for this year's Super Bowl which features the famous Cantina scene from A New Hope and the return of the little kid as Darth Vader.

Obviously, for nostalgia



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