Posted by Shirley Brady on February 1, 2012 03:36 PM
Volkwagen today released "The Dog Strikes Back," the full version of VW's 2012 Super Bowl commercial — or a commercial within a commercial, as it references the golden retriever from "The Force," its blockbuster 2011 Super Bowl ad featuring a mini Darth Vader and the Volkswagen Passat ... before seguing to a full-on Star Wars mode by pulling back to a recreation of the cantina scene and the real Darth Vader.
This year the brand is promoting the new Beetle, as VW America president and CEO Jonathan Browning commented to the Wall Street Journal: "We didn't just want to make a follow-on or a sequel, but looked at this and said what are some of the other themes around Super Bowl? It's all about athleticism, it's all about competing to the best level you can, and also for VW, it's all about how we're rebuilding the business here in the U.S."
As for tying back into Star Wars, Browning added, "We wanted to have that little twist at the end, and hinted at that in the teaser" — meaning "The Bark Side" canine chorus, which has been viewed more than 10 million times on YouTube, and which you can watch again below. VW's pushing out of that teaser — a home run for combining Star Wars with cute dogs — arguably opened the floodgates for the deluge of pre-Super Bowl ad reveals this year.
Browning told WSJ he doesn't feel that revealing the commercial before the Super Bowl would steal the brand's thunder come Game Day, recalling how last year's sneak peek on the Thursday before Super Bowl garnered "more than 13 million views ahead of the kick-off and it helped to really build the expectation and the discussion" and created buzz for VW well beyond the game. Stay tuned for a "making of" clip of this year's spot, he added.