Volkswagen ( VKLAY)

This settles it: Pretty much no one is making narrative commercials from start to finish anymore.

Ad firms' creative departments are being paid to scan Twitter hashtags for ideas or, in VW's case, just spend a solid couple of days watching YouTube memes until a common thread pops into their head. In the case of VW's teaser, unhappy YouTubers such as the sad Packers fan, the crying cat lady from eHarmony and Atlanta Braves minor league manager Phil Wellman are employed by Many Rivers To Cross reggae singer Jimmy Cliff to treat their troubles like the Partridge Family and Come On Get Happy.

Meanwhile, there's not a Volkswagen anywhere in the clip. Nowhere. Not even the car driving the sad Packers fan around. This is the future of Super Bowl ads. Way to go, Internet.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.

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