The recent 'Polo Confidence' advertising campaign for the Volkswagen Polo - also known as 'Singing Dog' - has been honoured at this year's Autocar Awards, being named Car Ad of the Year 2008. This award is voted for by the readers of Autocar.
The 'Polo Confidence' advert features a Jack Russell dog which is shown to be nervous and timid in everyday situations, yet, while in the Volkswagen Polo, 'sings' happily and confidently along to the soundtrack of "I'm a man" by the Spencer Davis Group.
On accepting the prestigious award, Chris Craft, Director of Volkswagen UK commented: "We're delighted to receive this award from Autocar - and it's really special because it's voted for by the public.
"We wanted to develop the advert to reinforce the key messages of the Polo - safety, security and therefore confidence. We are really proud to have produced such a memorable advertisement and one which has clearly captured the public's imagination."
Charles Hallett, Editor of Autocar added: "We agree with our readers' choice. It's funny, memorable and in keeping with some excellent Volkswagen adverts over the years.";
Conceived and produced by Volkswagen's advertising agency, DDB London, the advert was filmed over three days in Los Angeles, USA. Two Jack Russells, Bear and Cody, were used during the filming. Though almost identical, the two male dogs are not siblings.
One of the trainers from the dogs' agency, Worldwide Movie Animals, said: "On screen, Bear did all the happy, singing in the car stuff and Cody did all the scaredy cat, shaking stuff. Cody has a command called "head down" where he lowers his head as you see in the commercial and it makes him look very timid. As soon as you release the behaviour, he pops his head back up and looks super happy again. They love chicken, playing ball, frisbee and tug of war. Both are really good tempered, well trained dogs that are fun to be around."
The advertisement has so far registered over one million hits on the internet video site, YouTube, while 36 fan groups were set up on social networking site FaceBook. The soundtrack, which was not re-released, also peaked at number six on the UK Rock Top 100 on iTunes.
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