The greatest car commercials of all time

The greatest car commercials of all time

It’s important to nail your advertising campaign. Do so, and you’ll be onto a winner. Research shows that showcasing your product on television can be up to 71% of advertising-generated profit, with a four-fold increase on your investment over three years. This has been helped thanks to the emergence of online videos, with motion content proving to be four times more effective in 2016 than it was in 1996.

Because of this, it’s no wonder that companies attempt everything in their power to get their product engrained in the public’s mind. Whether it’s the Honey Monster munching away on Sugar Puffs, a belly that’s ‘gonna get ya’ advertising Reebok, or a monkey drumming away for Cadbury’s, brands in every sector put a lot of effort into perfecting their on-screen advertising. Here, with Lookers, who have a wide range of disability cars, we look at the best car commercials to have graced our screens.

I see you baby…

French manufacturer Renault released their new Megane design and its distinctive rear end by having the car dart about the streets, while shaking derrieres flashed in and out of shot. However, it wasn’t widely appreciated when it hit our screens in 2003. So many wobbling rumps prompted 139 viewer complaints and the television watchdog slapped a ban on the advert being aired before 7.30pm.

Va Va Voom

Renault hit the jackpot once again when French footballer Thierry Henry helped to promote the Clio. In 2001, the Arsenal forward was brought in to help the stereotypical ‘women’s car’ become more gender neutral. Adding ‘a little bit of va va voom’ certainly didn’t alienate the female viewers either, and the car – as well as the advert – is still a popular choice for the British public.

Safety first

Two VW ads were handed banning orders due to people thinking it could encourage irresponsible driving. One, which showed a son growing up, resembled a daddy/daughter advertisement from 2013. However, while the recent clips show a father being concerned as his son is involved in near-misses behind the wheel, the past effort tugged on the heart strings a lot more – and avoided being chopped!

It featured the Volkswagen Polo and a dad trying to protect his daughter throughout her life before eventually handing her the keys to her new car – a one she can feel safe in. What a great story line!

Going home

In Audi’s 2016 advert, they used the slogan ‘born on the track, built for the road’ and the ad saw a pick of their best models heading for Le Mans. To the backing of a haunting version of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Homeward Bound’ track, the screenplay pays homage to the car manufacturer’s golden era in the motorsport, in which they won 13 out of 18 races, before they turned their attention to Formula E. The ad featured RS models, including the TT RS Coupé and the R8 Spyder.

It’s good to be bad

With huge pressure of being first aired at the Super Bowl, this ad by Jaguar didn’t disappoint. Featuring the Jaguar F-Type Coupé, prominent British actors Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong portray the British bad guy culture that has been built up by Hollywood.

Singin’ in the rain

The original Volkswagen Golf GTi had a makeover in 2006. To promote it, the company effectively remade Gene Kelly’s famous singing in the rain sketch from 1962, but with a new body-popping dance routine.  Finishing up his smooth moves, Gene eventually stops outside of parked up Golf GTI to bring an end to a well put-together commercial.


Whether it’s in toy form, as an advert or in the movies, we all love Transformers. Citroen released this ‘groovy’ commercial with a dancing Citroen C4 robocar in 2007 along with the slogan ‘alive with technology’. Next time you hear Jacques Your Body by Les Rythmes Digitales, why not try to bust the moves as well as a Citroen?

Piece of cake

We love all things to do with baking in the UK and in 2007, Skoda utilised this, making a life-size Skoda Fabia made entirely of cake. With the slogan ‘full of lovely stuff’, the manufacturer forked out £500,000 on the advertisement in a bid to give the brand a new lease of life. The scrumptious-looking cake, which featured 180 eggs, 100kg of flour, 100kg of caster sugar, 30kg of almonds and 65kg of dried fruit showcased the car’s attractive design in a bid to leave viewers’ mouths watering.

What the cluck?

The dancing chickens of Mercedes-Benz was a very strange advert indeed. However, it does stick in the mind, so it did its job! The German manufacturers simply used chickens to illustrate ‘stability at all times’ and ‘magic body control’ with their smooth motions going in time with the backing track.

Piece by piece

Bursting onto the scene bit by bit was the Honda Accord. The Japanese manufacturers used every cog of the car to knock into another in a creative fashion before eventually introducing the new model with a pull-down banner. Great patience must have been had by the ad’s director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet to successfully pull off the masterpiece.


These examples show just how effective advertising can be with so many of the ads being remembered more than a decade on. Which brand will produce the next memorable video to help them sell more cars?



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