In 2011, Volkswagen aired “The Force,” one of the most memorable ads in modern Super Bowl history. There, a dozen children in their Vader costumes are convinced of the power of the dark side. Time magazine said it “changed Super Bowl commercials forever,” and as of 2015, it was the most-shared Super Bowl ad in history, according to USA Today.
Years after that ad ran, the German automaker disappeared from the national Super Bowl stage for a decade until Sunday's game. Volkswagen, like Palpatine, will then return and will be one of the relatively few car brands scheduled to advertise in the game. Year.
Why is the activity suspended? Rachel Zarszek, Volkswagen of America's senior vice president of customer experience and brand marketing, said repeating a national Super Bowl campaign was not a natural fit. Things have changed this year. The ad, called “An American Love Story,” aired to coincide with the brand's 75th anniversary in the U.S. and the release of several new models.
“I only go on stage if I have something to say, and I have a lot to say this year,” Zarzek told Marketing Brew.
Looking back: Zarzek said Volkswagen began discussing this year's commercials more than six months ago. Zarzek said the creative idea for the spot began around mid-September, but the purchase wasn't confirmed internally until the fourth quarter.
The two-minute cut, set to a re-enactment of Neil Diamond's “I Am… I Said,” includes references to Woodstock, scenes from the Harvey film series, the iconic “Punch Buggy,” and more about Volkswagen cars throughout American history. Contains a montage of scenes showing. From a scene from “ simpsons. There's also a callback to “The Force” (both ads were directed by Lance Accord). It all feels very nostalgic.
The ad aims to “ignite love for the brand,” said Jonathan Santana, ECD at WPP-owned creative agency Johannes Leonardo, which worked on site. It's also designed to put Volkswagen owners “at the heart of our messaging strategy,” Zarzek said. A shorter 60-second version will be broadcast during the third quarter of the game.
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When driving against the road: There is little dialogue on set and no celebrities appear (aside from Bart Simpson, Lisa Simpson and Harvey), even though celebrities have been the mainstay of some of the most successful Super Bowl commercials over the years.
“VW, which has always been a contrarian, would be perverted if other companies were doing business as usual,” Santana said, later adding, “Celebrity spots can get in the way of the brand and the brand message.” Ta.
Diamonds on the road: The selection of songs for advertisements also has a deep meaning. Santana said “I Am…I Said” is about a moment in his life when Diamond was at a crossroads, like when Volkswagen first came to America. Additionally, his 75th birthday or anniversary is sometimes known as his “diamond jubilee,” so the artist's choice made sense, he said.
Diamond's story ends with a reprise of “I Am… I Said.” stone Santana said Volkswagen used the album because it “delivered with more realism and emotion.”
In my lane: Although going down an emotional road during the Super Bowl is risky, Zarzek said he didn't question the choice. The campaign's main KPI is brand sentiment, not sales, and Volkswagen uses data from market research firms such as Harris Poll to measure the success of the survey, he said.
“You tell love stories and give love letters because you want to move an emotion, because you want to move an emotion, because you want to have that sparkle. You can’t measure it,” Zarzek said. “That momentum cannot be measured in terms of immediate sales.”