It must be an ad agency’s dream to get a new brief for a car commercial. Controversial as it may be, I reckon that the best ads of the last decade have promoted cars. There’s no doubt that TV advertising has spawned some seriously incredible ads – ones that draw you in, get you thinking and create a huge buzz. From city cars to small cars, there’s a legendary TV ad for all types. Advertisers have also exploited the growing power of the web – not only did successful campaigns make their mark on TV, they also went viral. Which isn’t surprising when some of them look like mini-films and not just “ads on the telly”.
1) The Force
A recent ad which has been a massive hit is that for the VW Passat called “The Force”. The ad features a kid dressed as Darth Vader (Baby Vader in fact), trying out his super powers around the house, to no avail. That is, until they “work” on daddy’s VW Passat. I won’t spoil it for the uninitiated, but let’s just say daddy’s key fob has a lot to do with it!
Check it out on
2) Cake Car
The Skoda Fabia “cake ad” was also in a league of its own. Creating a full-size replica Skoda car out of baking ingredients took four days with master bakers, icers, and a bricklayer, and all set to Julie Andrews’ My Favourite Things. Genius!
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhfEGKc7PLQ
3) Cog Car Ad
The Honda “cog” ad is both legendary and ground-breaking. Created for the launch of the Honda Accord in 2002, it follows a chain of colliding parts taken from a disassembled Accord which interact with one another until the new car is revealed. The ad was 120 seconds long – which is LONG in the advertising world! The campaign was tremendously successful, with Honda’s UK domain seeing more web traffic in the 24 hours after Cog’s television debut than all but one UK automotive brand received for the entire month.
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo
4) Pimp My Ride
For sheer amusement value this is car ad is a hoot!
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv157ZIInUk
Featuring a German vixen who seemed to have walked straight out of the 70’s, this VW Golf GTI commercial took a pop at MTV’s successful “Pimp My Ride” show, whilst also launching this model in the states. This series of ads had great lines such as “Representing Deutschland”, and “German engineering in da haus”, and “Pre-tuned by German engineers”.
5) Singing In The Rain
The VW Golf GTI “Singing in the Rain” ad is admittedly my favourite of all time. It is just too cool! I even think Gene Kelly would approve of his body popping alter-ego. Created in 2005 to promote the new VW Golf GTI, the set took 22 people 14 days to build, with the aim of reminding viewers all the way through of the original, while they would realise it was a “completely modern piece of film”. Even the strapline is amazing – “The Original, Updated”. Brilliant.
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSOo4A9Z2FA