VW's Super Bowl teaser video 'The Bark Side' goes viral
This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
A Volkswagen teaser that features dogs dressed as "Star Wars" characters barking out the "Imperial March" theme song associated with the evil Darth Vader has gone viral, generating more than 3 million views on YouTube since Wednesday night.
VW created the teaser, called "The Bark Side," in advance of a commercial it plans to air during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 5.
The teaser aired during Wednesday's episode of "The Middle" on ABC. It was also posted to YouTube that evening.
Volkswagen gained both critical acclaim and sales publicity during last year's Super Bowl, when it aired "The Force."
That commercial also used the "Imperial March" music from "Star Wars" and showed a child in a Darth Vader costume attempting unsuccessfully to use the movies' legendary "force" on a variety of household appliances and other objects. To his surprise, he's able to use the force to start a Passat -– with a little unobserved help from his father.
[Updated at 12:31 p.m., Jan. 19: Mike Sheldon, chief executive of Deutsch LA, the Marina del Rey firm that does the creative work for Volkswagen, told The Times' Meg James that "The Bark" was the firm's way of trying to stay "one step ahead" of the competition. He added that the teaser was trending "faster than 'The Force did, and this isn't even a Super Bowl ad."]
-- Jerry Hirsch