“The Force,” a Volkswagen spot starring a pint-sized Darth Vader attempting to start a Passat, has generated more than 45 million views on YouTube, making it the website’s most-viewed ad of 2011.
Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad, which introduced the “Imported from Detroit” campaign and featured Eminem driving the city in a 200 sedan, has generated 13.4 million views to date, making it the third most-viewed commercial on YouTube this year.
Wieden+Kennedy, a Portland-based firm, produced the Chrysler commercial while Deutch of Los Angeles produced the spot for Volkswagen.
That anyone would actively seek out advertising, let alone 45 million people, is a relatively new phenomenon highlighting the continued impact of the Super Bowl and the growing influence of the internet. As YouTube noted in its official blog, advertisers are increasingly focused on the online space, with some companies launching web-only campaigns.
“Even the two Super Bowl ads making the list, Chrysler and Volkswagen, were part of elaborate campaigns made to live significant lives on the web,” wrote Michael Learmonth, senior editor for Advertising Age.
“In the past, advertisers treated their Super Bowl spots like state secrets, but Volkswagen posted ‘The Force’ on YouTube two weeks before the Super Bowl last year, and had 10 million views before the game began.