Phil Lynagh is managing partner of LightBlue
Rarely, and I mean rarely, is an ad produced that you wish you’d been part of. The recent ad for VW, yes the one with the little Darth Vader (above), is such a beast and to some extent has given my faith back in how effective great advertising can be. You don’t need to spend millions on production and you don’t need a big breakthrough idea selling something new and unique, but you do need to press the right buttons at the right time to the right audience.
This little TVC is an amazing example of simplicity that captures the heart and mind and plays to the common person with the common truth that brands should add something to life. No matter how small that experience may be it needs to be positive and for just a moment make you feel better about yourself. It’s the nature of commercial evolution that most brands these days are devoid of the much-searched for USP and it’s so refreshing to see a brand like VW embrace that truth and instead own the ‘normality of life as we know it’ platform.
Now, it’s true Superbowl ads are different animals and the audience is uniquely ready to consume content in a unique way, but this execution remembers the one basic fact about advertising to the mass market, make them feel something, something positive – oh, and give them a laugh along the way. No need for a big belly laugh, a little snigger is often more powerful and more intelligent. Use a real slice of life, don’t create one that fits into the brand’s promise through some strangulated route but rather, observe, translate and replicate.
In a world full of bluster and increasing desperation to find the brand difference, I love the fact that this ad just delivers the ‘aaaah’ moment to its audience. This little gem is for a VW Passat, the trophy car for the middle classes and the must-have accessory to the three-bedroom, semi-detached house, but that’s where the majority of our audience are or either aspire to be, so it’s bang on; it’s subtle, it’s funny and it’s brilliantly executed. Lovely job.