It’s a Crime That Volkswagen’s ‘Mask’ Ad Isn’t More Frightening

Tepid use of a masked man

Deutsch's new "Mask" commercial for Volkswagen's Beetle Convertible is well crafted—fine pacing, solid direction from Noam Murro, interesting photography, the "Trololo" song tossed in for good measure. But that doesn't make it all that compelling. It's getting good reviews, but for me, the setup lacks real suspense. We know from the get-go that the dude in a ski mask grabbing chips and candy at a convenience store—as shoppers cower and the counter guy grows increasingly tense—won't do squat. This isn't a Tarantino movie. It's a car commercial. It's not like all bloody hell is going to break loose, with bullets flying and people dying before "Das Auto" and the VW logo pop on-screen. Even if we're not initially sure what's going on, it feels like a buildup to a twist ending. I won't spoil it for you. Yes, I will. It's winter, and the masked dude and his masked pals are cruising around in a Beetle Convertible with the top down. Come on, dude, pull out a gun and waste your buddies! Tear off that mask and reveal a hideous alien head (or Marco Rubio) underneath! Talk like a Jamaican! Do something! Hold on, let me replay it. Nope. Seems we got robbed. Credits below.


Client: Volkswagen of America

Spot: "Mask"

Client Credits:

Executlive Vice President, Chief Product and Marketing Officer: Tim Mahoney

Vice President, Marketing: Kevin Mayer

General Manager, Marketing Communications: Justin Osborne

Advertising Manager: Jeff Sayen

Deutsch Creative Credits and Titles:

Chief Creative Officer: Mark Hunter

Group Creative Directors: Michael Kadin, Matt Ian

Senior Art Director: Paul Oberlin

Senior Copywriter: Matt Sherman

Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo

Director of Content Production: Victoria Guenier

Executive Integrated Producer: Jim Haight

Production Company:

Biscuit Filmworks

Director: Noam Murro

Executive Producer: Shawn Lacy

Head of Production: Colleen O'Donnell

Line Producer: Jay Veal

Editorial Company:

Spot Welders

Editor: Haines Hall

Assistant Editor: Kai Yu

Executive Producer: David Glean

Producer: J. Patrick McElroy

Post Facility:

The Mill

Color: Adam Scott

Visual Effects Company:

The Mill

Producer: Rachael Trillo

Visual Effects Supervisor: James Allen

Music, Composer:

"Trololo" by Eduard Khil

Sound Designer:

740 Sound Design & Mix

Sound Designers: Rommel Molina, Nicholas Interlandi

Executive Producer: Scott Ganary

Audio Post:


Mixer: Mark Meyuhas

Assistant: Matt Miller

Producer: Jessica Locke

Shoot Location:

Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

Additional Deutsch Credits:

Chief Executive Officer: Mike Sheldon

Group Account Director: Tom Else

Account Director: Monica Jungbeck

Account Supervisor: Alex Gross

Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish

Group Planning Director: Doug Van Praet

Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo

Associate Director of Business Affairs: Gabriela Farias

Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo

Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sarah Brennan

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.