Car adverts can be spectacularly awful it’s true – but, they can also be innovative, smart and pretty damn funny.
Sometimes you can find yourself enjoying an advert and chuckling along with it, regardless of your feelings for the car itself. Therein lies the beauty of advertising – although it might not always make sense, a good advert engages with you on some level.
How often have you found yourself whistling or singing along to a song before you realise that the place you heard it is in a car advert? It happens to us now and again!
They might not always be your thing, or necessarily seem to be about the car they’re promoting, but there’s no denying that the automotive and advertising industries partner up in some pretty spectacular ways.
We’ve had a chat about some of our collective favourite adverts to come up with the definitive top five car adverts that are impressive, hilarious, heart-warming and draw unthinkable parallels to get a huge reaction from us. What are your favourites? We know you have them!
Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe – 2014 British Villains
“They say Brits make the best villains, but what makes a villain?” The British capacity at being able to pull off a suave, charmer of a bad guy was capitalised on incredibly well by Jaguar, in its British Villains marketing campaign that saw it using adverts to showcase the F-TYPE Coupe model in 2014.
The first advert made its debut at the Superbowl that year with the brand picking Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston as tea-drinking evil geniuses to show off the new model.
It was so close to being cheesy, but instead it pointed out the high-level performance and bespoke looks of the coupe, and did so while looking really cool. Follow-up adverts featuring the above quote were arguably even better. The car was pretty awesome too.
Honda Accord – 2003 When Things Just Work
This advert is a little more difficult to describe, you might have heard people talking about it as ‘That one where all the bits move and walk in a sequence and in the end it starts a Honda Accord at the end’.
Honda, rather cleverly, used all the parts of its new Accord model and deconstructed them to show how they could work in any sequential form to the tune of Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill gang.
Perhaps one of the best bits in the advert is when the car key is pressed; a fresh Accord rolls off its stand and a smooth-voiced man says: “Isn’t it nice when things just work?” Yes. Yes it is.
Citroen C4 – 2013 Transformers
A car changing into a dancing robot was the dream of perhaps every kid in Britain, or at least it was for those who had grown up watching the Transformers.
Big thanks go to Citroen for creating an hilarious advert with a C4 dancing around like a loon on the top of a high-rise car park.
Although it seemed pretty odd to begin with, as well as amusing, the main message was that the C4 was ‘Alive with Technology’. Nice.
Golf GTI – 2005 The Original, Updated
Take a classic Gene Kelly film and add a bit of Mint Royale and what have you got? The Golf GTI advert from the early 2000s, that’s what!
Honestly, it was a bit of a goosebumps moment when we first saw this advert – even if the CGI does look a bit dated now we’re 11 years on.
This advert had an elegant approach to announcing the update of one of the most popular Volkswagens on the market. Hats off to you VW, old chum!
SKODA Fabia – 2007 Favourite Things
Although this list is in no particular order, this SKODA Fabia advert is a serious contender for a number one spot.
You’re bound to know it well: Julie Andrews’ voice comes in followed by a bunch of what look like engineers who turn out to be baking magicians. Yup, this is the advert in which they make an entire Fabia out of cake, engine and all.
It’s the only car advert that’s ever made us hungry, but after watching the making of video – don’t judge, it’s really short – it turns out that after being under hot studio lights for three days straight, it wouldn’t have been safe to eat. We probably would’ve had a pick at it anyway…