Volkswagen “PunchDub” Commercial

When I was younger, my brother and I used to punch each other every time we got in the car on account of “Slug Bugs” (VW Beetles) and “Cruiser Bruisers” (PT Cruisers).  Nowadays, my fiance and I do the same thing for cars driving with only one working headlight (“Padiddle!”) .  Maybe it’s the fond memories I have of “punch someone when you see a certain car” games, but when I saw this commercial during last night’s episode of LOST, I loved it:

The ad is called “PunchDub.”  The name comes from a newly created variation of the classic “Punch Buggy” (or as I knew it, “Slug Bug”) game,  which allows you to punch a friend anytime you see any VW drive by.  As noted in a press release on VW Media, Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing for Volkswagen of America states, “Punch Dub is a fun, engaging way to reintroduce Volkswagen and its growing product family to millions of Americans […]. The campaign is a modern twist on a classic game that has been played on America’s highways for generations and will help consumers gain a new perspective on the breadth of our vehicle offerings, quality, performance and value.”

Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan and performer Stevie Wonder both have cameo appearances in the ad, which first debuted during the Super Bowl (although I did not see it then).  If you’re curious as to how the game of “Punch Buggy” got started, check out this video interview with the game’s creator, “Sluggy” Patterson.  You can also watch more Sluggy videos at The Inspiration Room or visit Sluggy’s blog here.

Besides the nostalgia, I think this ad is very effective because it is funny, memorable, and clearly ties the brand to the message.  If you remember this ad, you’re certainly going to remember it was for VW.  It is important for advertisers to clearly link their brand to the message and content of the commercial.  All too often we see something funny and memorable, and even though we tell our friends about the ad, we have no idea what the commercial was even for. So props to VW for clearly and expertly melding brand recognition with a funny and memorable ad.

Post you thoughts on the ad in the comments section below!

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Check out the “VW PunchDub Commercial” post on Adam’s Advertising Blog:

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