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May the Force…Make More Sales

February 4, 2011

Ah, the beauty of social media and instant everything! Just as soon as I get an e-newsletter off the launch pad and into inboxes (soon hopefully once the server’s back online) on this very topic (but not this specific commercial), I see yet another fabulous commercial from folks at Volkswagen (via my stepbrother’s Facebook post). Check out some fine marketing at work:

What’s it all about?

Target market: Suburban, well-to-do families. (After all, they can afford a fancy Darth Vadar costume for the kid!) Message: The Passat is powerful. More cleverly than that simple message are an array of messages rolled into the ad: Look how powerful Dad is because he can make magic (the ‘force’ of keyless engine start) with the push of a button. Mom is powerful because she’s got the kid completely under control. He may be running all around the house, but she’s calm as a cucumber. Little Vadar is adorable – making this car a big appeal to women because the kid’s so cute!

Let’s not forget some fine details that really show off the crafting in this commercial: The camera angles and editing choices are dead-on matches to the original Star WarsTM movie, from the sterile white hallway walls to the wave of the black cape as the boy walks.

Finally, it’s great storytelling. In less than a minute you see a happy boy (amazing to glean that from his body language even though we never see his face) go from excitement over his newfound powers (when he put on the costume) to dejected as the powers don’t work again and again around his home. At the last minute, his spirit is renewed with the sound of his dad coming home in the car.

And is he happy to see his dad? No, he waves off his dad’s greeting in anticipation of his magic working on the Passat. Miraculously (to the boy) his powers do turn on the car’s engine. He is astonished at his skills. (Have we ever seen Darth Vadar look surprised?)

Lastly, I just wanted to mention that without John Williams’ amazing score to Star WarsTM, the original, as well as this homage, would have been vastly diminished. The music absolutely sells the car.

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