Here Are The Top 10 Coolest Car Adverts
Honda’s latest advert, “Paper”, is getting a lot of praise across the motoring world.
It’s a stop-motion chronicle of Honda’s history through the medium of animated paper, culminating with the new NSX.
We think it’s brilliant and it’s inspired us to look at our favourite and most memorable motoring television adverts from the last 30 years.
#10 Citroen C4 – Transformer
This ad for Citroen’s family hatch, featuring a body-popping car robot, actually predates the Michael Bay Transformer films by a couple of years. It certainly made a lasting impression – probably more than the car did.
#9 Skoda Fabia – Cake
Set to the tune of Julie Andrews’ “My Favourite Things” and with the strapline of “Full of lovely stuff”, Skoda’s idea to make a life-sized cake model of a Fabia is one of the most lasting images in car advertising. With a budget of £500,000, it might be one of the most expensive cakes ever too.
#8 Honda – Impossible Dream
Another retrospective from Honda, this time from 2005. This ad features British actor Simon Paisley Day (who was once in Red Dwarf…) piloting a selection of Honda’s machinery over the last 60 years – culminating in a Honda branded hot air balloon rising over a waterfall in New Zealand. Set to the evocative Impossible Dream by Andy Williams, this is one of the most watchable adverts ever.
#7 Volkswagen Golf – Changes
Paula Hamilton stars in this classic 1980s advert as a jilted woman, angrily storming out of a house and relieving herself of her presumably gifted jewellery as she heads down the street. Just as she’s about to throw away the keys to her Golf GTI she changes her mind and drives off into the sunrise with a smile on her face. If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen, eh?
#6 Audi R8 V10
There are no gimmicks in this ad. There isn’t even a soundtrack, unless you count the Audi’s engine. Simple is sometimes the best way and the ad for the R8 V10 is as simple as it gets.
#5 Vauxhall Meriva/Zafira – Little Dads
A brilliant little piece of role-swapping saw these two kids chatting about their Vauxhall people carriers as if they were middle-aged men – and about their dads as if they were kids. It was the first in a short series of similar ads, one of which sparked off 2005’s equivalent to the blue/black dress argument – “overtired”.
#4 Peugeot 206 – Sculptor
In this utter classic from 2002, a forlorn Indian youth, unimpressed with the shape of his Hindustan Ambassador seeks to reshape it to match the Peugeot 206 by use of welding, hammering, crashing it into a wall and an elephant.
#3 Ford Puma – Bullitt
This was one of the earliest examples of advertising using a deceased actor, with Ford’s ad agency cutting the king of cool (and cooler king) Steve McQueen into a series of driving sequences around San Francisco in the new Puma. Complete with Lalo Schifrin’s famous Bullitt theme, this ad oozes awesomeness.
#2 Peugeot 405
Peugeot’s 1989 advert for the 405 is absolutely nonsensical but one of the most indelible images of the 1980s. There’s almost no attempt made to showcase anything about the car, just a crop field ablaze (and occasionally exploding for no reason) and the classic number 1 track “Take my breath away” by Berlin. It was enough to make every sales rep in Britain drop their Filofaxes.
#1 Honda – Cog
We could probably have filled this list with great or catchy Honda adverts – Choir, Hands, Love/Hate or even the recently banned Push – but Cog sits above all of them. This amazing “Rube Goldberg machine” advert is often said to be just one take, but it’s actually two separate parts of film joined together as there wasn’t space to build the whole sequence in one room.
Oh, and here’s the worst… MG Metro
No-one’s entirely sure what possessed British Leyland to approve this pastiche of the camp 1960s Batman series, but we’re glad that they did. The sheer awfulness of the homage is only matched by the crass chocolate biscuit joke at the end. And the car.
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