While Volkswagen's Super Bowl teaser "The Bark Side" appeared to indicate that the automaker was once again embracing a "Star Wars" themed ad campaign - the final result is more original. But OK, there's a bit of "A galaxy far, far away..." as well. 

 

The full ad titled "The Dog Strikes Back" was released online today, following in the footsteps of companies like Honda and their "Ferris Bueller" ad. It features a fat dog getting back into shape so that he can once again fit through the doggie door and chase cars. In a nod to the success of last year's "Force" ad, the perspective then shift to the cantina from "Star Wars" and a cameo from Darth Vader. 

 

If that feels a bit forced, it's because the VW's marketing team says they wanted to "tap into the equity" built up from last year's commercial without doing the same thing. 

 

“We thought that whatever we do this year is going to be debated and compared to last year,” Mark Hunter, CCO for Deutsch L.A told Fast Company. “So we thought it would be funny if we could start the debate already within the ad."

 

Whether or not it's funny with the audience remains to be seen. So far, the reaction has been mixed. Even "Stars Wars" fans aren't necessarily on-board.

 

"What was Vader doing at the Cantina bar?, said one. "That doesn't make any sense. The dog was hilarious but the Star Wars part was stupid."

 

Even the traffic seems a bit flat - with less than 10,000 views so far compared to the eye-popping 6.3 million for Honda. Have a look at the ad below and let us know what you think!