Four kids in a Cabrio forgo a party for a few more moments of cruising under the starry night sky. This quiet celebration of the joy, freedom and optimism of youth, captured by the romantic direction of Dayton/Faris and accompanied by the hypnotic (and controversial) licensed Nick Drake "Pink Moon" track, "Milky Way" is arguably the most memorable trip VW had taken during its '90s heyday. "Having had a convertible in my own youth, the most magical part of it was always at night," says co-CD Lance Jensen, now at Modernista. "Everyone thinks beach and sun, but at night it's like you're in a space ship. I had always had in mind a trippy beautiful spot driving at night for VW. Shane [Hutton] and Tim Vaccarino, the art director, pushed the story," leading to the kids "not wanting to go to the party and to just keep the magic between the friends and that night flowing," As for the spot's enduring impact, "I think the cinematic quality had a lot to do with it," explains co-CD Alan Pafenbach. "It was created like a movie, with three-dimensional characters and a backstory. We imagined four friends who met at a summer job, maybe waiting tables someplace like Nantucket, going out for one last night together before they head their separate ways.
It shows young people in a way not often found in advertisingï¿½ï¿½"sensitive, intelligent and capable of making independent choices. I think people were ready for a break from the ironic, post-modern, self-referential shtick that permeates most advertising."