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Ad of the Day: Volkswagen

The brand shows its range, from poignant to comic, in spots for the Passat and Jetta

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In a way, it's surprising that Volkswagen and Deutsch had such a megahit with "The Force." (For those under a Geico-ish rock, that would be the 2011 Super Bowl spot that's racked up 53 million views to date on YouTube.) Brands usually have to go big and loud to enjoy such mass effect. Think of Evian's roller babies (56 million), for example, or the Old Spice guy's first spot (41 million). The Star Wars theme elevated "The Force" to a kind of spectacle, but at its core it was a simple, subtle spot. Much of the brand's recent work has that the same unassuming quality, going back to Arnold's famed 1999 "Milky Way" spot with Nick Drake's "Pink Moon." This is a brand that's often happy to be driving away from the party while others are driving up to it.

Two new VW spots from Deutsch in Los Angeles continue this evocative yet understated storytelling. The first, for the Passat, shows a teenager who has just crashed his car—or rather, his dad's car. As he frets with his friend and fellow passenger, the boy utters the traditional remark: "My dad's going to kill me, dude." On-screen text then offers a nice twist on that hoary comment, as a way into a discussion about safety.

The second spot, for the Jetta, is a bit more odd. Called "Door Thunk," it shows a man shutting his Jetta door, which causes a rain of kids' toys to fall from the sky. Seems the car is so well built that even just the weighty impact of the door closing can dislodge long-lost items from trees. "The solid thunk of the door on the Jetta," says the voiceover. "Another example of Volkswagen quality."

The spots don't call attention to themselves, but they add to brand's tradition of simple storytelling designed to lend a sheen of quality and family friendliness. The automaker has its regular breakout hits—not just "The Force" but perfectly pitched ads like last year's "Rocket Man" for the Passat. But even its less heralded work does the job well. Whatever the reliability of the vehicles themselves, this is advertising you can always count on.





CREDITS
Client: Volkswagen
Chief Product and Marketing Officer: Tim Mahoney
General Manager Brand Marketing: Brian Thomas
Brand Communications Manager: Jeff Sayen
General Manager, Marketing Communications: Justin Osborne

Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles

—Spot: "Crash"

Deutsch Creative Credits:
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Hunter
Group Creative Director: Michael Kadin
Group Creative Director: Matt Ian
Associate Creative Director: Brian Friedrich
Art Director: Paul Oberlin
Copywriter: Matt Sherman
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Director of Broadcast Production: Victoria Guenier
Producer: Dave Stephenson

Production Company Credits and Address:
Imperial Woodpecker
1707 Berkely St., Santa Monica, Calif. 90404
Director: Simon McQuoid
Director of Photography: Hoyte van Hoytema
Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Producer: Anita Wetterstedt

Editorial Company Credits and Address:
Cut + Run
2044 Broadway, Santa Monica, Calif. 90404
Editor: Steve Gandolfi
Assistant Editor: Isaac Chen
Managing Director: Michelle Burke
Producer: Christie Price

Post/VFX/Online Credits:
The Mill
3233 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif., 90016
Colorist: Adam Scott
Online/VFX Artist: Gareth Parr
Executive Producer: Ben Hampshire
Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
Producer: Sabrina Elizondo

Audio Post Company Credits and Address:
LIME Studios
1231 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif. 90401
Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
Assistant Mixer: Matt Miller
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

Additional Deutsch Credits:
Account Management Credits:
CEO: Mike Sheldon
Group Account Director: Tom Else
Account Director: Chris Carter
Account Supervisor: Pari Boorer

Media Credits:
MediaCom

Account Planners: 
Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish
Planning Director: Douglas VanPraet

Traffic/Business Affairs:
Director of Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
Associate Director of Business Affairs: Gabriela Farias
Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sarah Brennan

—Spot: "Tree"

Deutsch Creative Credits:
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Hunter
Group Creative Director: Michael Kadin
Group Creative Director: Matt Ian
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Brian Friedrich
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Mark Peters
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Director of Broadcast Production: Victoria Guenier
Producer: Dave Stephenson

Production Company Credits and Address:
Biscuit Filmworks
7026 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90038
Director: Noam Murro
Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Colleen O’Donnell
Line Producer: Jay Veal

Editorial Company Credits and Address:
Spotwelders
825 Hampton Drive, Venice, Calif. 90291
Editor: Dick Gordon
Assistant Editor: Cudjo Collins
Executive Producer: David Glean
Executive Producer: Joanne Ferraro
Producer: Carolina Wallace

Post Facility Credits and Address:
Company 3
1661 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif. 90404
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld

VFX/Online Credits
Method
730 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, Calif. 90401
Flame Artist: Pete Mayor
Smoke Artist: Jason Frank
Executive Producer: Robert Owens
Producer: Stephanie Allis

Audio Post Company Credits and Address:
LIME Studios
1231 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif. 90401
Mixers: Mark Meyhuas, Rohan Young
Assistant Mixer: Matt Miller
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

Additional Deutsch Credits:
Account Management Credits:
CEO: Mike Sheldon
Group Account Director: Tom Else
Account Director: Chris Carter
Account Supervisor: Pari Boorer
Account Executive: Dani Gordon

Media Credits:
MediaCom

Account Planners: 
Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish
Planning Director: Douglas VanPraet

Traffic/Business Affairs:
Director of Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
Associate Director of Business Affairs: Gabriela Farias
Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sarah Brennan