In 2014, this well-polished sight gag of a Super Bowl ad via Argonaut imagined German engineers growing a pair of wings every time a Volkswagen passed 100,000 miles. “Volkswagen has the most vehicles on the road with over 100,000 miles,” the voiceover concludes. “That’s the power of German engineering.”
If the lack of wings for any female engineers was a bit of a surprise, perhaps the ad team didn’t want to confuse the double-entendres it was working.
Volkswagen released the ad on Jan. 28, five days before the Super Bowl, following a minute-long teaser that it put out on Jan. 21. It would follow up after the game with an online component, it said as it went wide with the spot:
Continuing to play off of the German engineers’ formulaic approach to Big Game fun, Volkswagen will launch a homepage masthead takeover on YouTube beginning February 3rd. Dubbed the “Internet-ifier 5000”, the unique online experience encourages fans to remix Volkswagen’s Game Day commercial with some of the web’s most iconic memes -- such as cats and babies -- to make the Big Game spot even “Internet-ier."
The engineering message would have been harder for VW to use on a big stage not long after: In September 2015, the company admitted to cheating on government emissions tests.
Director: Tom Kuntz, the "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" director for Old Spice whose Super Bowl ad portfolio includes Toyota's "It's Reinvented," Volkswagen's "Get Happy" and CarMax "Kid in a Candy Store." Production company: MJZ. Director of photography: Hoyte van Hoytema. Production company: Gterntag Gilm GmbH. Executive producer: Ines Plachta. Producer: Oeggy Geibig.
Argonaut chief creative officers: Hunter Hindman, Rick Condos. Associate creative director/art director: Grant Piper. Associate creative director/copywriter: David Roth. Head of broadcast production: Dan Watson. Head of brand management: Katie Miller. Head of strategy: Max Heilbron. Strategist: Marika Wiggan.
Volkswagen of America VP-marketing: Vinay Shahani.
Editorial: Cut & Run. Editor: Frank Effron. Managing director: Michelle Eskin. Executive producer: Deanne Mehling. Producer: Cristina Matracia. Assistant editor: Heather Bartholomae.
VFX: The Mill L.A. Executive producer: Sue Troyan. Executive producer/telecine: LaRue Anderson. Producer: Leighton Greer. Producer/telecine: Natalie Westerfield. Production coordinator: Benjamin Sposato. Shoot supervisor/creative director: Robert Sethi. Colorist: Adam Scott. 2D lead artist: Tim Davies. 2D artist: Glyn Tebbutt. 3D lead artists: Ed Boldero, Adam Droy.
QUARTER AIRED: Q2