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VW hopes mini Vader ad will boost US sales

The Local · 10 Feb 2011, 10:00

Published: 10 Feb 2011 10:00 GMT+01:00

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The cheeky ad features a little boy dressed in a "Star Wars" costume who fails to bring things to life with "The Force" until his father remotely starts a Passat.

The ad went viral before it even aired during Sunday game and was later voted the most popular commercial aired during the America's most-watched television programme and advertising extravaganza.

It had been viewed nearly 25 million times on YouTube by Thursday morning.

A second Super Bowl ad - featuring a zippy black beetle racing past other bugs in a forest - has scored nearly three million hits on YouTube.

"What we're trying to do is make people think again about the VW brand," said Jonathan Browning, chief executive officer of VW North America.

"VW is very well known but some of those impressions still harken back to the (old 1970's) beetle, the bus."

Improving VW's position in the US is a "top priority" in the German automaker's strategy to be the world's best-selling automaker by 2018, Browning said.

"We can't get to where we want to be globally if we don't strengthen our performance here in the US," he told the Chicago Economic Club during the Chicago auto show.

"China may be the largest vehicle market, but the US is still the world's most transparent and competitive market," he added. "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

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VW has underlined its commitment to the US market with the development of a plant in Tennessee which has a capacity of 150,000 vehicles but could expand to as much as 300,000 vehicles, he said.

The automaker is also designing vehicles like the upcoming Passat and Beatle "specifically with American customer priorities in mind" and "making German engineering much more accessible with prices that hit the sweet spot."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:40 February 10, 2011 by jamano
What a brainless brainwasher!
16:38 February 10, 2011 by freechoice
i sincerely hope the Amerikanisches hatte same humor als the Deutschen..
17:01 February 10, 2011 by bartschaff
What piece of crap.
23:42 February 10, 2011 by Slimtots
LAME commercial
07:48 February 11, 2011 by proclusian
I think what will sell, at this point, in the U.S. is more the affordability of the car (whether we are talking about the $20K Jetta or the $15K Passat), than the commercials, although the commercials, like this one, and the one with the Beetle, will draw many persons' attention back to VW in the first place.

Despite what the peanut gallery here in the comments section seems to think, the ad worked quite well in the U.S. -- a good thing, since it was made by an American firm exclusively for an American audience.

Ads for cars never directly sell cars anyway -- they put the car in your head, and get you thinking about it and then, if you're in the market for a new car, you take a closer look.
08:49 February 11, 2011 by auniquecorn
cute commercial, I used to do that to my daughter when she was 3, if she was standing by the car in the driveway, I´d click the locks, and she thinks the car was talking to her, She´d talk back to it. I had her going for about 20 min. 1 time.
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