Here’s a fantastic spot from Volkswagen.
The tiny body with the oversized Darth Vader helmet is irresistibly cute, and timing the kid’s force motions to the music adds a crispness to the levity. The kid inside the suit does an excellent job of conveying the emotions he’s experiencing as he tries (and fails) to take control of the Force. But, for me, the commercial goes from good to great when the kid turns to the window in the end. For some reason, it cracks me up every single time I watch it. You don’t need facial expressions or words to know exactly what he’s thinking.
VW has always been great about adding humor to their advertisements (see, e.g., Mad Men Season 1, Episode 3), and this one is no exception. The thing is, I have no idea what car the commercial advertises, just that it’s a VW commercial. I don’t think that it matters, though. The point of the commercial isn’t to highlight the features of the latest VW model release. The car isn’t present but for about ten seconds of a minute-long spot. This commercial is about provoking an emotional response – nostalgia, endearment, wonder, and love – and then linking that emotional response with the brand itself. It doesn’t matter what VW is in the ad; what matters is that it’s a Volkswagen, and you won’t soon forget it.