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Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.

Volkswagen’s game day commercial: Dog Strikes Back

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ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising, promotion, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

UPDATE: As of 12:20 p.m. Feb. 6, the clip has 5,198,818 views, 19,893 likes, and 697 dislikes.

I don’t know where to begin with this. I can only say that I saw Volkswagen’s extended Super Bowl ad on Twitter, it had a cute dog — and Darth Vader — so I was compelled to post it.

At the time of this writing, this clip, which was posted Jan. 30, had 1,476,473 views, 7,827 likes, and 275 dislikes.

Before I even hit “publish” on this post, the clip, which was posted Jan. 30, had 1,539,513 views, 8,004 likes, and 277 dislikes

When I first saw the ad on YouTube, this was one of the top comments (spelling and grammar are uncorrected):

I wanna know what this had to do with star wars at all.
~ warguy2499,
YouTube member

I know, warguy, I also wondered that. And then later I remembered the “Vader Kid” ad from last year. It seems, too, the other 1,539,512 1,476,472 viewers also seem confused and detached, weighing in with:

So a dog is faster then a VW beetle?
YouTube member

Probably not the “impression” the Volkswagen marketing folks were hoping for. This probably wasn’t the commercial’s goal either:

…the f*** did that come from?!
~ mrbradpainter,
YouTube member

I would have gone with “What the hell?” but I see your point, mrbradpainter. And then we have another viewer who is also unable to summon even a bit of aesthetic distance:

This car is crap, a dog is faster than it!
~ djsta77,
YouTube member

Yeah, djsta77, but the car is CUTE! Some folks really buy into form over function, and we don’t see the dog pass the car.

Even if some viewers are scratching their heads, Volkswagen at least got their attention. And for those who didn’t get the Star Wars tie-in, they probably didn’t see the wildly popular “Vader Kid” ad from last year or “The Bark Side,” the Volkswagen Game Day teaser — which is beyond cute, even if it doesn’t have a sheltie.

At the time of this writing, “The Bark Side,” uploaded on Jan. 18, had 11,005,635 views, 71,851 likes, and 1,300 dislikes.
About the Volkswagen YouTube Channel
(As of Feb. 2, 2012)

Date joined: ?
Subscribers: 26,687
Video views: 83,572,818

RELATED: The VW “The Force” aka “Vader Kid” ad from 2011


As of Feb. 6, 2012, this clip had 50,373,140 views, 195,942 likes, and 3,140 dislikes.



Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her clients'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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