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Volkswagen’s game day commercial: Dog Strikes Back

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.



Dog-eat-Dorito world

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. It does not endorse any product, services or agency. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

I was cleaning out my terribly neglected RSS reader today when I found myself scrolling through Unruly Media’s Viral Video Top 10 Charts, which can be a real time suck for me as I watch the videos and try to figure out why each one appeals to so many viewers. It would be great if I assembled all of this analysis into coherent blog posts, but by the time I’m done watching said videos, it’s time to study/go to work/feed the dog/scoop the litter box/save the world/floss.

Today I got sucked in by the Dorito-eating pug featured during Super Bowl Blah. The video “Pug Attack” is one of the Crash the Super Bowl 2011 finalists, the Dorito-Pepsi Max contest that offered a $25,000 prize to each of the winning  consumer-made spots — and $1,000,000 if the video took first place in USA TODAY’s Ad Meter. (“Pug Attack” tied for first place.) I had seen this prior to the Super Bowl, so it’s certainly not new to me (or anyone else). I watched it four times today trying to figure out the appeal. Yes, the dog is cute and the guy is goofy, and the score certainly builds anticipation for a silly climax, but that alone shouldn’t smell like advertising success, does it? Yep, it does.

At the time of this writing, Viral Video Chart is reporting that “Pug Attack” had more than 40,000 “shares” on Facebook, 917 tweets and 34 blog posts. Meanwhile, YouTube reports 2,200,000 views.

Apparently I’m not the only person who enjoys mocking her pets with snack food.