Luke, I’m your Volkswagen
Who doesn’t want to be Darth Vader? In May of 1977, I was just like every other seven year old in America wanting to be just like Darth Vader and use the force to control all my toys. During the 2011 Super Bowl, Volkswagen made a commercial that made my dream of 35 years come true. In this commercial, a young boy pretending to be Darth Vader, storms down the hall, attempting to use “the force” to move a treadmill without avail. After many fruitless attempts at controlling everything inside the house, his last attempt is a success due in part to his dad’s new Volkswagen Passat, which has a remote start on his key. The young boy runs past his father, to the front of the car to use the force. He aims his hand toward the car and to the child’s astonishment the force, has finally worked. The rhetorical techniques of logos, ethos and pathos are present and are there to persuade the intended audience.
First of all, the advertisement relies on an appeal to reason for its basis. This commercial was created to target an audience that can recognize Darth Vader and Volkswagens. Star Wars references are deeply embedded in our popular culture and it would be safe to say most Americans are aware of phrases that have become part of the popular lexicon, for example “May the Force be with You”. This commercial appeal to most people because of the fact that every parent enjoys seeing their child uses their imagination and creativity. It also shows his father in the end playing along, amazing his son. Through the commercial Volkswagen recalls a childlike innocence about the car making it suitable for a family.
Secondly, Volkswagen brings in an appeal to credibility to convince the advertisement’s viewers. Darth Vader is known throughout the world as one of the most recognized villains including his infamous death-march music. This commercial would not be same if an adult was used instead of a...