Remember the Volkswagen ad from 2011 that aired during the Super Bowl XLV? It featured a young Darth Vader practicing his use of the force, with his final act being remotely starting his parents’ Volkswagen Passat. At the young Vader’s surprise, the car comes to life, when in reality it’s his father adding a little extra courage by using the nifty remote start feature on the mid-size sedan.
The spot is great in pretty much every way, being crafty and light-hearted while showcasing the new Passat as well as one of its useful features in one shebang. And as the Internet would have it, the spot is the most shared Super Bowl ad of all time.
Video ad technology specialist, Unruly, has tallied the ad’s journeys across the Internet, tracking the spot before it officially debuted in primetime and after it went viral, and found it to be the most-shared Super Bowl ad on social media networks. Rather than looking at the total amount of views, the determining factor was where and how many times the ad was shared across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. To date, the ad has garnered 5,279,772 online shares across social media channels, overtaking every single Anheuser-Busch or Coca-Cola ad ever aired.
Ironically, Volkswagen has opted out of Super Bowl advertising in 2015, which may have something to do with a thirty-second spot costing $4.5 million dollars this year, or maybe with the fact that VW’s sales are down and the brand is losing tons of money in the U.S. market. Knowing that, we’d rather see VW focus on expanding its crossover lineup as fast as possible, because unlike a Super Bowl ad, missing out on CUV sales in a rapidly-expanding market is an opportunity VeeDub simply can not afford to miss.