You can’t grow a tree without bark

I have never seen a Star Wars movie in my life. Although, like most people, through the wonderful process of intertextuality, I know that some of the main characters are Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2D2 and that tall gold robot. I also know that Darth Vader theme song – dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN. Too bad I don’t know how to convey sounds through text.

Anyway, so I came across this viral video on YouTube:

What I discovered was that companies spend HEAPS of money to get an ad shown during the Super Bowl in the US, because it is estimated that one billion people will tune in. So naturally, in preparation for this event, the German car manufacturer, Volkswagen released a teaser video for the ad they would air during the Super Bowl.

In all honesty, dogs scare the living daylights out of me and it takes me ages to warm up to them. HOWEVER, dogs on a screen that appear so composed and so well-trained are far from being frightening. In the end, I liked the dogs so much that I refuse to accept there could be any auto-tune or sound editing of any sort because I’d like to think that dogs can be this talented.

First off, I enjoyed the fact that the video started off having the dogs bark randomly. It was actually quite misleading and for a split second, I had contemplated exiting the browser because I thought that that was all the substance it had. What stopped me from doing so, was actually the title. Even understood the pun there; a very proud moment for me. It made me curious as to how the video would make a Star Wars reference. Boy am I glad I didn’t trust my instincts that time.

I thought that this plot was extremely inventive and I would guesstimate that it would have taken so much time to train the dogs to bark. The whole time I was watching, I was actually imagining a group of very stressed out trainers standing beside the camera. I noticed that there were quite a few cuts to specific dogs, which makes me assume that the video was not made in one shot, using several cameras.

The set was also quite interesting. I dont know what the interiors of the spaceships of Star Wars look like, or even if there really are spaceships in Star Wars. BUT, assuming there are, I thought the set was cleverly built to look like a room in a spaceship. I like that the dogs were put on pedestals rather them just sitting/standing in rows, flaty planting their butts on the floor. While it does emphasise a lot on the taller and bigger dogs, it creates a visual sense of harmony and balance. Putting the tall/big dogs at the bottom and the little dogs at the top would have looked odd. It also makes the dogs look as though they are in a choir. Clever.

HOWEVER, I didn’t like that it was so white. Maybe it’s a direct reference to a scene in Star Wars. I wouldn’t know. BUT visually, it seems to drown out the white of most of the dogs, bringing too much emphasis on the set and not the dogs. It is also kinda bright. Too bright.

The use of a music that is so obviously associated with such a classic movie was a good choice. Due to the fact that it is so recognisable, makes it very apparent that this video is teasing another that has a very direct Star Wars theme, despite the fact that Star Wars is not mentioned in the title or the information on YouTube.

Overall, I loved the concept and the execution. On’ya Volkswagen.

Anyway, if you’re interested, this is the ad that aired during the Super Bowl that “The Bark Side” was teasing:

-insert clever signoff- Christine

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