VW’s super bowl marketing campaign had a massive impact on the social web. Greenpeace stole their thunder with an own YouTube viral. Now Lucas Films Ltd. has banned the clip due to copyright infringement.
VW’s super bowl ad with mini-Darth Vader was a huge success and counts up to now over 40 million YouTube views. The parody by Greenpeace has seen similar popularity and had some impact on VW’s brand image. Meanwhile Lucas Films Ltd. filed a copyright infringement claim at YouTube. The video platform shut down the official GreenpeaceVideo channel and banned all videos which contain Star Wars related material. Greenpeace’s Vimeo Channel has seen a similar outcome as they confirm on their blog.
As we all know, there is now “delete” button in the Internet and Greenpeace has uploaded their video to several different streaming channels and can still be seen on the official rebel website. This might be a good coincidence for Greenpeace, since in this case the public awareness for a campaign usually skyrockets (also known as Streisand-effect). Deleting content (or in this case: killing Luke Skywalker) confirms the image of a ruthless company that tries to control the masses. Even-though the sanctions on Greenpeace come from Lucas Films, this will still have a negative impact on VW’s brand image.
What could VW do?
A good counterattack by VW would have been a sequel of the “The Dark Side YouTube series”. We all know that Darth Vader once was one of the good guys and just had some bad luck in his life and eventually realizes the good in him. So why not VW?