Even though the NFL playoffs have yet to even begin, at least one of last year’s teams is guaranteed a spot in the 2012 Super Bowl: Team Volkswagen. After blitzing the airwaves in this year’s title game—running three commercials in the 2011 Super Bowl, including the highly acclaimed “mini Darth Vader” spot for the reinvented VW Passat—the automaker will debut an all-new ad for the 2012 Volkswagen VW Beetle during the 46th annual game.
The 60-second commercial is scheduled to premiere at the start of the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, which is itself slated for February 5, 2012, in Indianapolis.
Clearly, the automaker will be looking to repeat the success of its Passat spot, which was named the most effective commercial of Super Bowl XLV by Ace Metrix—a top industry source for measuring the effectiveness of advertising—as well as the No. 1 commercial of the year by AD WEEK. The VW effort also has earned more than 45 million views on YouTube, while becoming a pop culture touchstone.
According to a statement from Volkswagen: “The overwhelming attention from the commercial piqued interest in the 2012 Passat months before it hit the market. This ensured that the car entered the market with momentum, with more sales in its first two months than the last Passat model sold in all of 2010.”
And remember, that interest needed a lot of piquing. The previous-generation Passat had simply fallen off the ol’ radar screen of most buyers, especially with the VW CC essentially duplicating its role as Volkswagen’s near-lux German sport sedan, but with much improved styling. Thus, Volkswagen’s advertising had to do more than just showcase the 2012 Passat’s redesign, it had to reposition the car in a whole new segment, where it would compete against the other mainstream mid-size sedans. Needless to say, those efforts have gotten the job done, and the actual numbers here are striking. The all-new Passat first went on sale in September, when it was responsible for 3,176 deliveries, then pushed that mark up to 5,040 units in October and 6,018 last month; that compares to the previous model’s sales of 572 units, 464 units and 313 units during the same periods in 2010.