Current Weather
The Spy FM

‘The Bark Side’ Tells Of Super Bowl Ads To Come

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
January 22, 2012

Say you’re the ad agency behind last year’s most memorable Super Bowl commercial — a spot for Volkswagen where a little boy, dressed as Darth Vader, starts his Dad’s new Passat with the Force.

The ad was a huge success. The little boy became an overnight star, the ad won several awards, and today it’s been viewed online almost 50 million times.

The ad achieved all that success because the agency behind it, Deutsch LA, did something revolutionary in the ad world: They put it on the Web a week before the big game.

“People were even more excited about waiting to see [the ad] during the game because of that,” says Mark Hunter, Chief Creative Officer at Deutsch LA.

But their success came with a problem. This year, any agency worth its salt is pre-releasing their Super Bowl ad.

“Absolutely,” Hunter says. “It’s totally de rigueur now. You have to pre-release your spot. You’d be mad not to. And our thinking was, well, you know, we need to remain one step ahead of the game here.”

So they took that iconic Star Wars music and added dogs.

The result is a perfect viral recipe. Cute pets, Star Wars, and instant re-watchability as you look for an edit or a clue to how it was done. Hunter says the dogs were shot individually, then looped and edited together into one composite shot. But their barks are the real thing — no Auto-Tune.

“We simply got as many facial expressions as we could visually and had them bark as many times as they could as many different ways, and an editor wound up stitching all the sounds together,” he says. “Those are the real dog barks, absolutely.”

One thing that’s not as it seems: This ad isn’t really an ad. It’s a teaser for Volkswagen’s Super Bowl campaign, which will also include ads pre-released online closer to the big game.

That’s right. An ad. For more ads. For an ad.

“This really is a creative arms race when it comes to the Super Bowl,” Hunter says. “We know that a lot of the competition who were just waiting — and maybe even thinking that they would pre-release four days ahead instead of three days — have now seen this thing out a full two weeks in advance.”

Lexus and Samsung are among the handful of companies with teaser campaigns this year. The endgame? Will ads for ads for ads keeping coming earlier and earlier every year?

“It’s a valid question,” Hunter says.” “I wish I could tell you we have that answer right now, but I can certainly promise you we will 12 months from now.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5PM to 7PM A Prairie Home Companion

A Prairie Home Companion

Live every Saturday night, A Prairie Home Companion features comedy sketches, music and Garrison Keillor's signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon."

Listen Live Now!

7PM to 8PM Folk Salad

Folk Salad

Folk Salad Hosts Richard Higgs and Scott Aycock play an eclectic mix of Folk, Singer/songwriter, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Red Dirt, and anything else we happen to like that week.

View the program guide!

8PM to 9PM For the Sake of the Song

For the Sake of the Song

Greg Johnson, owner of The Blue Door in Oklahoma City gathers the best Red Dirt musicians in the region for his show.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center