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VIDEO of VW Super Bowl ad: NO CARS, but lots of happiness???

OMG! WTH? EPIC FAIL? Well, we will have to see, but Volkswagen released a teaser of its 2013 Super Bowl ad that is only missing ONE key traditional facet of automotive advertising: the car. The unusual ad is a mashup of the uhappiest people documented in viral videos on the web with a musical overlay of Jimmy Cliff's classic song, C'mon Get Happy, according to Automotive News.


The piece was apparently created in the spirit of the marque's previous SMILES ad. Now, the teaser ad it isn't a full version of the one for the big game, but even going for 30 seconds without a car seems risky - especially for a brand that finished 2012 near the back of the pack in sales with a 3 percent market share in the U.S.

"Touchy-feely" ads didn't work so well with the launch of the Infinity brand, and I don't think it's the wisest investment for Volkswagen at this juncture, ESPECIALLY with a Motor Trend Car of the Year in the stable. My opinion, of course. What's yours? Any VW stores excited about this?

Tom LaPointe
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Tags: VW, Volkswagen, ads, advertising, fail, marketing, sales, super-bowl, television, tv


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Comment by Tom Gorham on February 3, 2013 at 6:48am

Manny, I think the numbers speak for themselves.  Goog job!

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on January 28, 2013 at 5:16pm

Business Insider listed their 10 worst ads of 2012 ( and surprisingly, the brad pit monologue ad for...

what product was it...have to look it up ... chanel #5  - made the list. A similar 'touchy-feely' concept that wasn't the success they hoped.

Comment by Missy Knight on January 28, 2013 at 12:36pm

That's an interesting perspective, Tom.  I completely disagree.  I think the ad(s) are spectacular and reflect a forward thinking, new-media mentality that is more in-tune with how today's car buyer is consuming information.  It's a very effective game day "teaser".

Comment by Ken Nix on January 27, 2013 at 2:48pm

ps... And "Sunny Side" will continue to be relevant for the next 20 years. Sadly, the commercial for the ATS will be floundering in two years tops.

Comment by Ken Nix on January 27, 2013 at 2:46pm

Tom, I think Volkswagen is taking this opportunity to focus on branding instead of selling. This video has "VIRAL" written all over it. This is classic VW. Nobody does Viral Car Ads like they do. Volkswagen knows the power of the viral video from past classics like "the force" 55 million views, and "the dog strikes back" 16 million views. They're looking at the long term, where Cadillac will be lucky to get 2 million views out of their "commercial" on YouTube over the next year, "Sunny Side" will probably garner over 10 million views by the end of the year. If both paid one million (figurative number only) for the spot, I'd say Volkswagen would be the winner with the highest ROI.

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on January 26, 2013 at 10:24pm

We will see how the ACTUAL ad turns out during 'the big game'. But let's say I was NOT in the car biz and have a marketing education and background. Once upon a time when I WASN'T, I was one of the first Saturn buyers when THAT small company focused on people as much as the car - but the focused on people who MADE the car. Kudos to the agency for talking VW into the ad, but I still think it is a substantial risk for the company AND the agency.

I lamented the Passat as Motor Trend COTY, likening it to a toaster because it didn't win any category except maybe for size, and was as exciting as C-SPAN at midnight. I still say you should promote your winning product - especially in the super bowl. When I compare this to the new Cadillac ATS campaign, I lean toward the ad with the car. But that's just ME :)

Comment by Tom Gorham on January 25, 2013 at 2:07pm

@Mike Myers, ;-)

Peter Duffy, I agree, make it about the people.  I love some of the VW commericals.  But people should also know what company is so creative and that it relates to their product.  The final cut may be different than the teaser, as Mike Myer eluded to....

Comment by John L Mecham on January 25, 2013 at 2:01pm

Not any more.

Comment by Peter Duffy on January 25, 2013 at 1:51pm

It WORKS because it's weird. Remember the, "Dear Ketal One Drinker" ads that were a blank sheet in most magazines a while back? No bottle, no product. And that little ad not only put them on the map, it made them a small fortune and still continues to do so. NOT having the product wins. We're STILL discussing it here, aren't we?

Comment by John L Mecham on January 25, 2013 at 1:46pm

Weird! Are they trying to memorable?  I do not think this is the best use of resources in such a huge super bowl viewing arena...weird.

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