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Signs Of Improvement: Volkswagen Signs Up For Super Bowl XLVI

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Today's TV pundits spend a lot of time talking about the frailty of the U.S. economy, but that hasn't stopped consumers from visiting their local auto showrooms. Recently, we got word that car sales were on the rise, and now comes an equally promising harbinger: Volkswagen has purchased a spot during the Super Bowl XLVI broadcast on February 5. 

Why is that a good sign? Because in the advertising world, Super Bowl airtime is about as expensive as it gets -- between $2.5 million and $3 million for a 30-second spot. During an economic downturn, when money is tight, few businesses are willing to risk showing up on the "worst ad" list, even if that ad might introduce millions of eager viewers to their product. To see VW commit to the broadcast -- and to do it so early -- indicated that things are looking up. Well, at least for VW.

As you might recall, Volkswagen ran a couple of spots during the 2011 Super Bowl, and although some media experts gave Chrysler's Eminem ad for the 200 sedan higher marks, VW's "The Force" commercial seemed far more memorable. (It also produced far more parodies.)

For 2012, though, VW is putting all its automotive eggs in one basket: instead of running two 30-second ads, it's placing one 60-second spot at the beginning of the third quarter. The ad will feature the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle.

The 2012 Beetle was at the center at one of the 2011 ads, too, but since the car hadn't been revealed at the time, the commercial merely hinted at what was to come. Now, the cat's out of the bag, so how is VW going to grab our attention this year? Will the ad milk the Star Wars theme? Will it be strong enough to make us flip back from Subaru's Puppy Bowl? And more importantly, will it be more engaging that this Britney Spears video starring the 2012 Beetle?

We've got no answers for those questions now, but stick around: VW will probably debut the ad online before February 5.

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