Car manufacturers spend millions on TV adverts every year, a tool that delivers the marque’s message directly into people’s homes. However, an advert is only any good if it’s memorable, and some of the best have become real car culture hits.
Here are some of the very best on-screen car adverts.
Now this is a classic! In 1985 Volkswagen needed a TV spot that linked with its ethos of dependability. The star was to be the latest Golf GTI, and the ad followed the spiralling tale of a man who had the worst luck. From casino losses to bad relationships, this wealthy individual leaves the casino disheveled and returns to his car. Passing Ferraris and a Rolls-Royce, he then heads home in his Volkswagen, ‘because we all need something we can rely on.’
This ad has a great narrative and a really clever way of keeping the audience guessing.
The Audi R8 launched as the German marque’s first supercar, becoming a big success in the process. It didn’t take long for engineers to get their wish of adding a V10 engine to the car, something that today results in that ten-cylinder motor being the only option available. This excellent advert might not have sold many R8s, but it did wonders for Audi’s brand awareness.
Filmed as one uninterrupted sequence, this simple clip pans around the car as that glorious naturally aspirated V10 does its thing. It is said that the motor was destroyed during filming due to the heat shield being removed.
Sometime we all yearn for things we can’t have, and in the case of this advert, it was a Peugeot 206. Creatively sculpting his battered old car to resemble the then new 206, the protagonist makes use of brick walls, hammers and even an elephant!
This one is a real nostalgia piece.
This was a piece of advertising genius to promote Vauxhall’s family cars of the 1990s and early 2000s. Take two young lads who are cleaning their family cars, chatting away as if they were parents. Not only is the juxtaposition hilarious, but the fact that one of the adults forgets to use the toilet before leaving, hammers the comedy home.
An advert fondly remembered for giving you a craving for something sweet, the Skoda Fabia cake is another great piece of marketing. A team of bakers set about making a life-size Fabia out of sweet treats. Cake, icing, chocolate and more go into this 100% eatable hatchback.
From a 1:1 scale engine to seats, this advert was the icing on the cake for Skoda’s new car.
In our opinion, this is one of the most intellectual adverts out there. Jaguar’s ‘good to be bad’ campaign highlighted how the Brits always seem to play the baddies in movies. Making use of some big film stars for the spotlight, their Jaguars are highlighted as a perk of their evil jobs.
While encompassing the whole Jaguar range, the advert was perfectly timed with the launch of a new F-Type coupe.
Honda builds much more than cars, and through its history the engineering firm has really pushed boundaries. This inspiring advert travels through time and highlights the Japanese brand’s strengths in the form of its power equipment, bikes, marine engines, F1 car and even a new private jet.
Can you spot ASIMO’s cameo?
Added to this list for no reason other than it is ridiculously catchy for a modern advert, Dacia reworked a Queen classic. ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, became ‘Another One Drives a Duster’.
Good luck getting this one out of your head today!