This reminds me of two advertising lessons I learned at BU:
1. Make the ordinary feel strange and the strange feel ordinary
2. When in doubt, babies and puppies
Deutsch LA must have taken the same course because last year's 'The Force' commercial with mini Darth Vader was an instant hit and gained a ton of earned media mentions--morning show interviews, news articles, shares--and was one of the more memorable/talked about Super Bowl TV spots. This year, the 'Bark Side' teaser uses the "force" of dogs put us under a viral video spell.
The only similarity between 'The Bark Side' and last year's commercial is: 1) Imperial March theme song 2) Star Wars costume, and again ≠ to VW, Cars or German engineering but still absolutely brilliant. I hope advertisers see that a strong campaign idea doesn't always need to stem from a theme or topic that is highly relevant to a brand. I mean, the only similarity I see between VW and Star Wars is the Passat is the color of the Death Star.
Rewatch last year's 'The Force' commercial and/or read my commentary post here:
While the Star Wars theme feel a bit "forced" (haha) onto the VW brand--see the Intergalactic Invite at vw.com/star-wars-invite below--I'm eating it all up. Can't wait to send out Star Wars invites to my possibly Star Wars themed Super Bowl party.