If you’ve ever turned on a TV, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of ads are car related. Given the size of the US auto industry, the frequency of car commercials is unsurprising. US new car revenue is estimated to be $345 billion this year, which leaves plenty of cheddar for snazzy ads ($23 billion, to be exact). We believe that good car commercials go beyond the quantitative potential of the product to focus on the qualitative experience of the driver. We believe that great car commercials tell a compelling story that reinforces a coherent brand. And we believe that the greatest car commercials take your breath away. Here are our 11 favorites.
11. Green Police (Audi A3 TDi)
How do you promote an eco-award without seeming smug? Apparently by using humor, and lots of it. This commercial consistently has us squirting milk out of our noses, particularly the shot of the handcuffed hippie escaping the scene of the hot tub.
10. Alive with Technology (Citroen C4)
How do you make a car seem technologically advanced while appealing to a fun-focused customer base? Turning your car into a dancing robot is a start. Having your car replicate Tony’s dance solo from Saturday Night Fever (which John Travolta had to fight to keep from hitting the cutting room floor) is icing on the cake.
9. Not in this Weather (Mercedes E Class 4Matic)
How do you introduce a four wheel drive Mercedes Benz to luxury oriented drivers? Create a scenario that would motivate the King of England to brave the elements. Then add a clever twist.
8. The Hire – Star (BMW Films)
BMW has been a consumer marketing pioneer throughout its history, and its decision to produce eight short films starring Clive Owen in 2001 and 2002 broke new ground. BMW Films “previews” were shown on TV and in movie theaters (in effect, commercials for commercials), and generated 11 million views in four months, 2 million website registrations, and a 12% increase in sales from the previous year. This installment (co-starring Madonna and directed by Guy Ritchie) is our favorite, but they’re all worth checking out.
7. Synchronized Driving (Isuzu Gemini)
Most of the stunts performed in this commercial are jaw dropping, and many out-dream what Guy Ritchie could accomplish with a 25 year technology advantage in the previous commercial! Not only do these Isuzu’s perform high speed jumps and power slides in synchrony, they also match KITT’s ability to drive on two wheels.
6. Joyride (Kia Sorento)
Joyride seems to attempt to appeal to both bachelors and parents. It sells fun by putting themed mascots through a Jackass-style sun/ski/Vegas montage, and it sells safety by using characters from a popular children’s show that every parent recognizes. The juxtaposition is fantastic.
What do you think? Let us know, tweet away @tred.
Part II coming soon…