Volkswagen’s Super Bowl onslaught continues with ‘The Dog Strikes Back’


Volkswagen’s ‘full-on’ sequel to last year’s all conquering ‘The Force’ Super Bowl Ad, features a dog, the new VW Beetle and a 30-second scene from Star Wars.

Agency Deutsch Inc, started making the ad over 6 months ago, whittling down their script ideas from an initial ‘short list’ of more than 200 suggestions. The one mandatory requirement was that it had to follow on from last year’s Star Wars theme and of course have the same appeal across a broad range of demographics and native language.

The Golden Rule for viral video campaigns is “Whatever you do, make sure you include either a dog or a cute kid, ideally both..”, well Volkswagen have already proven the second part of that rule with Little Vader in ‘The Force’, so it only seems fair to give the dogs a go this time around.

You should have seen part 1 (more than 10 million people already have), the 60-second teaser video released last week called ‘Bark Side’, now the final piece of Volkswagen’s 2012 Super Bowl onslaught is ‘The Dog Strikes Back’, a tale of ‘Bolt the dog’ who needs to get in shape to fit through the door-flap and chase after a new VW Beetle that drives through the neighbourhood each day.

The dog is cute, the achievement (getting in shape) is one that we can all identify with and Bolt’s endorsement of the VW Beetle leaves us wanting to buy one. Job done.

Tim Mahoney, Chief Marketing Office for Volkswagen US was quoted on saying, “..spots like this are all about prompting people to ask, ‘Can I imagine Volkswagen being the brand for me?’, car buyers can find the nuts and bolts of performance elsewhere.”

But then 45-seconds into the spot we learn that we’re not the only ones who’ve been watching the happy scene. Far far away, in a galaxy under Imperial rule, the residents of Tatooine have been keeping an eye on Volkswagen’s Super Bowl Ads.

We join them in the Mos Eisley Cantina on the planet of Tatooine, the venue where Obi-Wan and Luke hired Han Solo, as they watch the new ad and debate if the dog is better (or not) than the ‘Vader kid’. The debate soon comes to a halt when Lord Vader enters the cantina and uses a Jedi mind-trick to suffocate the insurgents (i.e. those who favoured the dog).

Apparently the production team rebuilt the original film set from Star Wars, which ads further authenticity to the scene.

So what do you think? Is Bolt the dog funnier than Little Vader? And is this latest video, ‘The Dog Strikes Back’ as good as the teaser, ‘Bark Side’?

Be careful how you answer..