Volkswagen will air a 60-second commercial at this year’s Super Bowl, marking the the car brand’s fifth consecutive year as a Super Bowl advertiser.
The company announced the news Friday, saying its TV and social media advertising for this year’s game will build on its “tradition of sharing simple, human stories.”
The commercial will run during the second quarter of the game, and will feature the whole VW line-up — with an emphasis on the Passat.
Justin Osborne, Volkswagen’s U.S. general manager of advertising and marketing communications, said the company will focus on the power of German engineering at this year’s game, which will take place at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2, 2014.
Osborne said the company’s distinctly German attention to detail makes for great cars, but comes from a humorous intensity and meticulousness, which the Super Bowl ad will make light of.
“It’s really about the obsessiveness of German engineers, but the real focus and intentness they have on making better cars,” Osborne said. “We’re kind of poking fun at ourselves.”
Volkswagen can only hope that this year’s spot will be as big a hit as its 2011 Super Bowl Ad, “The Force,” which remains one of the most popular Super Bowl ads in recent memory.
That ad, from the agency Deutsch LA, followed a small child dressed up as Star Wars villain Darth Vader as he tried to use “The Force” on household objects, only to be frustrated when the objects remained unmoved.
The ad reached a happy, clever conclusion when the boy tried to use The Force on the Volkswagen Passat sitting in his driveway at the exact moment his father presses a button from inside the house to rev the car’s engine and flash its headlights.
It has now been viewed more than 50 million times on YouTube, and even has its own Wikipedia page.
Volkswagen ran a follow-up of sorts that referenced “The Force” at the 2012 game and last year used a reggae soundtrack in an ad showing how an uptight business office might react to one of its employees talking with a Jamaican accent and encouraging everyone to lighten up.
As it has done for past campaigns, Volkswagen will use the internet to run teasers for the 2014 commercial. Osborne said that while in the past these teasers have been limited primarily to digital video footage, the company is using a “different recipe” this time around.
He said fans will start seeing online activity from the brand about 7-10 days before the game.
This year’s game is the most expensive for advertisers of all time, with the average 30-second slot going for $US4 million.
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