Darth Vader vs. Eminem: Did "The Force" fall short in ad war?

Darth Vader VW Passat commercial got the most Super Bowl buzz. Eminem generated the most sales inquiries, auto website says.

By , Staff writer

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    In this screen shot provided by Volkswagen, Darth Vader uses "The Force" on a 2012 Volkswagen Passat, in a 2011 Super Bowl ad Feb. 6, 2011.
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Darth Vader was cute, fetching, and generated millions of Internet page views by using "The Force" on a VW Passat.

Eminem was dark, brooding, in an ad about hard times, pride, rebirth, and the Chrysler 200.

Vader Jr., a.k.a. Max Page, age 6, generated more buzz. But in the bottom-line business of advertising, what counts is not popularity but how many sales inquiries an ad generates.

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By that metric, it appears that "The Force" fell short – at least on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Vader's car did well, generating a huge jump in consumers looking at VW Passat reviews, pricing, and other data on Kelley Blue Book's website kbb.com. The car-review website says it saw Passat inquiries surge 229 percent on Sunday compared with the previous Sunday.

But Eminem did four times better, cranking out a 1,013 percent pop in kbb.com Chrysler 200 inquiries. Two other cars also edged out the Passat: the Volkswagen New Beetle (up 293 percent) and the Hyundai Elantra (up 270 percent), according to kbb.com.

Of course, sales inquiries don't necessarily lead to sales, but it's a promising start for Chrysler.

“Kbb.com traffic is a leading indicator of new-car shopper behavior," says Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for kbb.com in Irvine, Calif., in a statement."So the buzz we’re seeing from consumers in the middle of the game certainly demonstrated shoppers’ interest and likely predicts future sales.”

Don't worry about Max, though. He's had enough attention to last a lifetime. Perhaps, he'll get a whole lot more.

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