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Super Bowl Ads Go Viral

If you’re like me and have two young sons/Star Wars freaks, then the Volkswagen Super Bowl commercials of the past two years have really resonated. This is mainly because my boys have attempted to pull Jedi Mind Tricks on me (no comment on whether they’ve worked or not) and have tried to do something by using the Force.

This year, Volkswagen did two spots as a follow up to their memorable spot from a year ago. The first was a teaser that ran online with the  TV spot before the game and then a second spot that debuted during the 2nd quarter of Sunday’s game.  The teaser was the perfect viral spot. After all, who doesn’t love dogs barking the Imperial Death March? The game spot, while a bit disappointing, was still very well received as it is 7th on USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter, well ahead of Honda’s Ferris Bueller spot, which is 13th.

Darth Vader from the Volkswagen Super Bowl Spot

Volkswagen and Honda were not the only two brands to release spots prior to the game, which is an amazing occurrence, something which was unheard of even five years ago. But it’s working.

Last year’s Volkswagen spot has already surpassed the 90 million view mark, according to Ad Age, and this year’s spot has already surpassed the 17 million view mark, not counting the 12 million hits the teaser has generated on You Tube alone.

Some interesting questions to ponder in light of these spots and the distribution approach behind them – Will it make anyone go out and buy a Volkswagen? Or even think about buying a Volkswagen? What about ROI? Is Volkswagen, or any other brand for that matter, even concerned about ROI when producing these spots?

The answers? Well, sure, Volkswagen clearly would like you to buy their car over another. And maybe someone will buy one solely based on these spots (likely to get their kids off their backs). But the value these spots have generated in terms of social buzz, and positive press, cannot be understated.

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