Last year’s most-talked about Super Bowl ad was undeniably VW’s ad with a little boy dressed as Darth Vader. For the few of you out there who haven’t seen it, said little boy walks around dressed like Vader, “The Imperial March” playing in the background, trying to use The Force to start random household objects. He finally “succeeds” by starting his dad’s 2012 VW Passat.
It’s a super cute commercial, and apparently hit home with A LOT of people, considering it’s had almost 50 million You Tube views.
On January18 VW released a 60 second teaser for this year’s Super Bowl ad. Again, it features “The Imperial March.” But with DOGS.
Again, it looks like VW has another viral hit on its hands–after only a week it’s had well over 7 million views, and has been shared on Facebook by the likes of Cesar Millan, Mashable and probably 90% of my Facebook friends.
So what makes VW’s Super Bowl ads such great examples in viral online marketing? Lots of things, the primary of which are:
- They’re fun
- VW obviously knows who its target audience is–car buyers in their 30s and 40s who like style and safety and who have a fondness for Star Wars (which was a staple for a lot of us born in the ’70s and ’80s)
- They’re creative and stylish
- They release just enough to get you invested and wanting more
- They make you laugh (anyone who doesn’t at least smirk at Chewbacca dog has no soul)
That last one is super important. Timing. The Super Bowl is on February 5, meaning VW chose to release this year’s teaser just over two weeks before The Big Game. That’s two weeks for people to view the video, share the video, talk about the video and get excited to see the entire commercial. Last year’s commercial had leaked footage that had the web buzzing for days leading up to the Super Bowl, and that commercial had EVERYONE talking afterwards.
Sure, VW has the brand and the money to run an awesome advertising campaign–and they do. But they’re also showing (or, at least, Deutsch is convincing VW’s marketing department) that they know how to create buzz and make something go viral. Volkswagen and Old Spice are quickly becoming two of my favorite brands from a viral marketing perspective (I drive a Ford and as a female don’t use Old Spice products, so I have no skin in this game), as they are two companies who aren’t afraid to take a risk, be funny, and go viral.
What do you think some of the best recent viral marketing campaigns have been? Discuss below!