Ad of the Day: Volkswagen Gets Its Wings in 2014 Super Bowl Ad

Spot pushes vehicles' longevity

Volkswagen of America's minute-long 2014 Super Bowl spot from ad agency Argonaut, released online this morning, sports a pretty lofty concept: Every time a VW vehicle hits 100,000 miles, a German engineer gets his wings. Indeed, we see feathered appendages sprout from engineers' backs, and some of the guys float around a VW factory like angels in lab coats. The "wings envy" scene in the men's room is a cute touch.

“We are thrilled with this year's creative, which highlights the enthusiasm around our brand and our vehicles' German engineering in a humorous spot that embodies the Volkswagen spirit," says Vinay Shahani, VW's vp of marketing. The automaker claims to have the most cars on the road with over 100,000 miles.

VW believes the "Wings" concept has legs, as the engineers will appear in additional game-day videos across VW's social channels and offer live responses to on-field developments. They will also lead an "Internet-ifier 5000" YouTube homepage takeover on Feb. 3, the day after the game, remixing the "Wings" commercial with cat and baby memes from around the Web.

The spot's tone, broadly farcical but not especially outrageous, is nothing like VW's noisy "Algorithm" teaser, which lampooned Super Bowl ads by showing the engineers using science to design the "ultimate" big-game spot crammed with puppies, bikinis, babies, dinosaurs, pirates, Carmen Electra and Abraham Lincoln (none of which had wings).

I wonder if VW will take some heat for showing mainly white, male, middle-aged engineers? The most prominent woman in the factory slaps a dude's face because she thinks he's trying to get less than angelic with her in an elevator. Guess he could've used a wingman.

"Wings," which premiered Tuesday morning on NBC's Today show, marks the client's fifth consecutive Super Bowl appearance. VW enjoyed its greatest game-day success with 2011's "The Force," a charming Star Wars-themed spot from Deutsch LA. I doubt "Wings" will soar to such iconic heights, but its silly humor flies well enough to make the ad memorable.


Client: Volkswagen

Agency: Argonaut, San Francisco

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.