Forget Chrysler and that "Born of Fire" ad that generated so much buzz (justified or not). Forget Kia and its indomitable, award-winning rodents. The only auto ad from 2011 that you folks really enjoyed is Volkswagen's clip with the diminutive Darth Vader.
We're not making that up: marketing research powerhouse Nielsen just released a list of the "Most Liked" and "Most Recalled" ads from the first quarter of 2011. And we hate to break it to you, but VW's ad for the 2012 Passat called "The Force" was the only car clip to make either list. In fact, it ranked at the top of the "Most Liked" pile.
But the news isn't all good. Even VW didn't make the "Most Recalled" list, which was dominated by ads for beer and chips, with one yogurt clip thrown in for balance.
So hats off to VW for this accomplishment. Perhaps "The Force" will help push Germany's biggest automaker a little closer toward its goal of total world domination. Then again, with economies recovering left and right, the only brand not gaining ground these days is Maybach, so who knows?
Just for fun, here's the famously well-liked Passat clip and a few of the parodies it's inspired.
And of course: